Slowly but surely, Canadians seem to be warming up to the idea of smart homes. According to a report released by Telus, Canadians are open to incorporating connected devices into their everyday lives.
The report describes several scenarios where Canadians are most likely to welcome these initiatives, and several scenarios where they already have.
Overall, 63 percent of Canadians believe that by 2018 they will own at least one smart device, and half of those predict that their homes will feature three or more.
Rob Currie, the Vice President of Mobile Devices at Telus, stated that Canada has barely cracked the surface on the potential of connected devices.
“Canadians are just beginning to realize the benefits that smart home technology can have on their lives,” said Currie in an email.
“A reduced energy bill, peace of mind when the kids are home alone, and even something as simple as being able to open the front door for the dog walker from your smartphone at work – these are real tangible benefits that are making purchase decisions much easier.”
It’s important to note however that while 64 percent of those surveyed believe smart home technology would benefit their lives in some way, only 34 percent actually own a smart home device.
One of the report’s key findings was that of the Canadians who already own smart technology, the most popular devices were smart TVs at 65 percent and smart thermostats at 36 percent.
Rahul Raj, the vice president of marketing and e-commerce at Ecobee, the internationally popular Canadian-based smart thermostat, believes it was only a matter of time before the country came around.
“You shouldn’t have to compromise on being comfortable in your home,” said Raj. “Just by being here and operating on an international scale we’re proving that you can do it here.”
The report also states that frequent travellers expressed an interest in smart home devices that had the ability to monitor and maintain the space while they were away. Raj argues that Canada has the potential to be a major player in promoting the smart home around the world.
“In 2007, people were heating and cooling their homes when they weren’t there to enjoy it,” said Raj. He goes on to say that enabling mobile access was the real game changer for the Canadian startup.
“If we were able to give them connectivity so they could control it using their mobile phones, it would change their lives.”
In addition to televisions and thermostats, Telus’ report revealed several interesting characteristics of the Canadian smart home market.
The highest perceived benefits of smart home devices are the environmental benefits, according to approximately 57 percent of those surveyed. Furthermore, almost half the Canadians surveyed would be willing to pay more for a home that featured the latest smart home technology.
Currie stated that “When you think about lights and appliances that only use energy when required, fridges that help us eliminate food spoilage and waste, blinds that adjust to naturally heat and cool our homes, irrigation systems that water plants and gardens only when needed … smart home tech has big role to play when it comes to greener and more sustainable homes and buildings.”
Though televisions and thermostats are the most mature options for connected homes at the moment, Currie goes on to state that smart entry systems and other smart appliances will soon catch up.
The greatest appeal to Canadians however, seems to be the simplicity of it all. Saving energy and time becomes much easier when the minor devices you use every day are connected to your smartphone, the main device you use every day.
As Raj so eloquently put it, “you just be yourself in your own home and you don’t have to do squat.”
Related Reading: ecobee3 smart thermostat now available at Apple Stores across Canada