For many years, home automation technology was available to consumers only in niche markets, explained ABI Research senior analyst Sam Lucero. At one end of the spectrum were technophile hobbyists; at the other were homeowners with custom home automation systems costing up to $100,000 or more. But home automation has largely been ignored by the vast majority of mainstream consumers.
Three new strategies are about to change this slow moving record, according to ABI Research. The first is a move by big-box retailers to add a new high touch environment within their stores: a store-within-a-store concept, in which knowledgeable staff can demonstrate home theatre products and networks to customers. Customers who enjoy the advantages of networked entertainment are likely to see the benefits of automated control of lighting, climate and window coverings as well. High touch consumer electronics retailers are ideally positioned to capitalise on this market dynamic, explained Lucero.