This sponsored post is produced by Logitech.

This is the first holiday season that smart home products are widely available through all the major retail channels — and have full marketing weight behind them from companies like Nest, Wink, and Philips Hue. But do consumers care? The Logitech Harmony team conducted a quick survey of holiday shoppers* a few weeks ago to find out, and the results were surprising.

Our research revealed roughly one in four people either want, or are planning to give smart home products as a gift this holiday season. Also, 85% of respondents said they are familiar with smart home products, while 23% reported owning at least one, with 3% owning three or more.

Music, living room and kitchen are the drivers

Perhaps less surprising, home entertainment control is an entry point driving consumer interest in smart home technology for the holiday. Our survey revealed the top five product categories that people want to give or get this holiday season. Home entertainment tops the list:

  • Home audio system: 47%
  • Home video/theater system: 47%
  • Home or kitchen appliances: 44%
  • Home security system: 40%
  • Door locks: 39%

2020 is the year of the smart home

The vast majority of consumers polled indicated the era of the smart home is close at hand. About one third (34%) expect to have at least three smart home products in their home by 2020; almost one-in-five expect this to happen by 2015, and a full 62% expect this to take place over the next decade. Of course, there are the naysayers — 35% don’t believe the smart home will ever be a reality.

As an industry, we must be thoughtful of the mental timeline consumers are forming around their smart home future. We have to look beyond standards and protocols to expedite the creation and shipping of products that bring value to consumer lives immediately. We are officially working against the consumer mental clock.

Next steps: 2015 – 2019

So, what can the industry do to make sure consumers’ expectations are met? To deliver the vision of the smart home, we have to focus on the following initiatives that will move us from the hobbyist and early adopter to mass market adoption.

  • More products: Create amazing products that enhance home experiences at reasonable prices
  • Ambient experiences: The interaction model must move from action (touch, voice) and automation (pre-set rules for my home) to ambient (your home learns to adjust/automate on its own).
  • Market data: In order for us to create the right products and experiences for consumers, more data about consumers’ purchase intent, usage, and general understanding of the smart home is needed.

Designers such as Jonathan Ive, Tony Fadell, and Yves Behar are now working on how smart home products should be engineered. Companies like Apple, Google, Samsung, Logitech and others are dedicating the resources needed to make our smart home a reality. With these building blocks in place, I’m extremely optimistic that we will deliver on the consumers’ smart home expectations by 2020.

*In November 2015, Logitech Harmony and Logitech’s Consumer Insights group surveyed 675 broadband households in the United States in an online survey to measure their smart home holiday purchase attitudes and intentions.

Mark Spates is Head of Smart Home Platform at Logitech.

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