Companies involved in the home automation industry have enjoyed steady growth over the years. Many are looking forward to a particularly good 2022 based on a stronger-than-expected economy and a new emphasis on technology in the post-COVID era. But perhaps banking on a prosperous 2022 is a bit premature. Why? Because Americans seem to be suffering from at least some level of tech fatigue.
Tech fatigue sets in when people spend large amounts of time utilizing technology to do what they do. It is no secret that the COVID crisis has pushed a lot of people to their tech limits. That being the case, it could be that some consumers previously thinking about getting on board with home automation will put things on hold for the time being.
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When the federal government encouraged the original 15-day lockdown in 2020, they ushered in a whole new era of technology in the home. As you know, that 15 days stretched into months. To keep things going, we all turned to videoconferencing, online shopping, delivery apps, and so forth. Yet it wasn’t long before the petal was off the rose.
According to a research report from the Pew Research Center, 90% of U.S. adults considered the internet a vital tool for getting things done during the height of the pandemic. However, 40% also admitted to suffering from tech fatigue while 33% say they have tried to cut back on the time they spend working with technology.
If there was a desire to disconnect before the start of the pandemic, that desire may be only stronger two years later. At least some people who spend all day dealing with technology are ready to set it aside. They want to disconnect more often than they want to be connected.
Home Automation Is More of the Same
Home automation providers should pay close attention to consumer attitudes toward technology. At the end of the day, what they offer is just more of the same. Home automation utilizes all the same technologies to make a home more efficient and secure.
Home automation certainly offers its benefits. Saving money on utility bills with a smart thermostat and smart lighting is but one example. But smart devices still have to be installed and maintained. They have to be programmed. And to maximize their potential, consumers have to be familiar with remote access and control.
Professional Installation vs. DIY
One way to minimize tech fatigue in relation to home automation is to opt for professional installation. According to Vivint Smart Home, professional installation in the home automation arena is nearly identical to what it offers for home security. In fact, many companies are now combining the two.
Professional installation avoids the tech fatigue issue when installing new equipment. But what about programming, maintenance, and equipment upgrades? That depends on the level of service a provider offers.
In the absence of professional installation, consumers are left with DIY options. Those options are not likely to be all that attractive to people who are already fatigued by technology. If you are someone who is ready to disconnect and unplug at the end of the day, how likely are you to put the time and effort into learning how to set up your smart lighting?
None of this is to say that the smart home industry is doomed. It is not to say that the industry will experience negative growth in 2022. It is simply to say that tech fatigue cannot be ignored. The coming year may not be as prosperous as some industry experts predict.