Data from Smart Home Brand Hive Reveals Consumer Barriers

NEW YORK, June 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Research launched today by leading UK smart home brand Hive, in tandem with its new Let's Get Living campaign, reveals key barriers for North American consumers when it comes to adopting smart home technology.

"Our research tells us that Americans who manage their home day-to-day feel it takes a lot of work to do so, with almost seven in ten wishing it took less time and nearly nine in ten feeling freer when they have more control over their homes," said Roy Vella, North America VP/General Manager of Centrica Connected Home, the business behind the Hive experience.

"That said, we know what's holding people back from using smart home technology.  There are concerns over price, ease of use and whether it all works together reliably."

Research exploring smart home barriers and drivers 
The Hive research reveals that while most Americans have heard of smart homes (82 percent), nearly three in five of those aware (56 percent) feel that they "don't speak the language" of smart homes, indicating a lack of confidence and comfort with the technology. Similarly, 65 percent are not sure how a smart home could make their lives easier.  Despite this, 73 percent of Americans indicated they can see ways in which a smart home system could make their day-to-day lives easier.

Key barriers include:

Price: Just over nine in ten Americans (91 percent) who have heard of smart homes say, when it comes to household expenses, installing a smart home is not a priority.  Moreover, just over three-quarters of all Americans (76 percent) believe they would have to scale back on something to afford making their home a smart home.
Ease of use: The overwhelming majority of Americans believe installing a smart home seems like it would require professional help (79 percent).
Compatibility: More than four in five Americans (85 percent) agree if they were to install a smart home, they would prefer to do so using products from one brand rather than piecing together products from multiple brands. 

Commenting on how the Hive experience addresses this research, Vella said: "We are designing services to eliminate upfront device fees and provide an easy, self-install approach, opening up the joy of a smart home to a whole new audience. Our Hive Welcome Home plan, launched in May, is just the first of our subscription plans aimed at making the smart home simple and affordable for all."

The Hive research also revealed that the majority of Americans who manage their home on a day-to-day basis (93 percent) indicate a range of activities they'd participate in if they were able to cut down on time spent managing their home. Reading for pleasure is at the top of the list (43 percent), followed by enjoying quality time with loved ones (40 percent), working out (39 percent), binge watching TV shows (32 percent) and napping (29 percent).

Vella continued: "Our Hive services are designed to give people more time to do what they love – whether that's planning a vacation, enjoying a hobby or simply being more in the moment with friends and family."

Launch of Let's Get Living campaign  
Following parent company Centrica's commitment to invest £500 million to take the Hive experience multi-market, the brand has unveiled its Let's Get Living advertising campaign.  Rolling out initially across the US, Canada, UK and Ireland, the integrated campaign will span TV, radio, digital out-of-home, print and social channels.

Breaking with a narrated 30-second TV spot, entitled 'Perspectives on Life', Let's Get Living celebrates the things that matter – what we love to do, rather than what we have to do.  The campaign brings out how the Hive smart home experience frees customers to prioritize what means the most to them.

Nina Bhatia, Managing Director of Centrica Connected Home, commented, "Thanks to our knowledge from more than half a million customers, we know there's no one-size-fits-all approach. We're responding to that, providing tailored and accessible smart home experiences to make everyday life easier."

"There's still a big job to do to show people that having a smart home enhances daily living, which is what our campaign sets out to do. Let's Get Living and our subscription plans are all about freeing people up to help them get more from life."  

The Hive experience arrives in local markets 
In addition to the wider campaign, from June through August 2017, the Hive experience will be brought to life in seven local markets in North America. Local communities will have the opportunity to learn for themselves how Hive products and services can help make daily living easier.

Houston, Texas: Texas Home & Garden Show, June 24-25, 2017
Dallas, Texas: Klyde Warren Park, July 1, 2017
Washington, D.C.: Tysons Corner Mall, July 8, 2017
Atlanta, Georgia: Atlantic Station, July 15, 2017
Denver, Colorado: Denver County Fair, July 21-23, 2017 
Seattle, Washington: Kirkland Summer Festival, August 11-13, 2017
Vancouver, British Columbia: Kitsfest, August 18-20, 2017

For more information about Hive, Hive Welcome Home subscription plans and the Let's Get Living campaign, visit: www.hivehome.com or search #LetsGetLiving.  

For information on Hive services available through Centrica sister brand, Direct Energy, visit: www.directenergy.com


Survey methodology 
A 7-Question online omnibus survey was fielded among 1,116 Americans, 18+ from May 22-23, 2017 to help introduce Hive into the U.S. smart home technology space by understanding pain points about home management (e.g., cleaning, laundry, preparing meals, security, etc.) and the need for an easy to use, smart home system. The online omnibus survey was fielded by YouGov. 
For the purpose of this survey, a smart home was defined as a home set-up or ecosystem with lighting, heating and other electronic devices (e.g., video cameras, sensors, home appliances, etc.) that can "communicate" with one another.  They can also be controlled by a time schedule or remotely, from any room in the home or from any location in the world via phone or computer.

Hive Welcome Home 
Hive Welcome Home launched in May 2017. It is the first set of subscription-based smart home service plans from the Hive brand, offering a mix of software, products and services to meet a specific consumer need. Customers do not have to pay upfront device fees, and Hive Welcome Home's easy, self-install approach allows users to experience the benefits of a smart home immediately.  Additional Hive subscriptions to meet different consumer needs will become available throughout 2017 and beyond.

The Hive experience and Centrica Connected Home  
The Hive smart home experience is focused on making everyday life a little easier, freeing people up to spend time doing the things they love. Through subscription-based plans, which include a mix of software, products and services, the Hive experience is designed to offer affordable, easy to use solutions designed around specific use cases to help make a difference in people's lives. The team behind the Hive brand is Centrica Connected Home, part of Centrica Consumer.  Parent company Centrica plc has committed to invest £500m to take the Hive smart home experience multi-market. 

Centrica plc 
Centrica plc is an international energy and services company organized around two global customer-facing divisions, Centrica Consumer and Centrica Business, focused on the residential consumer and the business customer respectively. Among Centrica's areas of focus are Energy Supply & Services, Connected Home, Distributed Energy & Power, Energy Marketing & Trading and the optimization around Central Power Generation.  Centrica develops new and innovative products and services for customers globally and supplies around 28 million customer accounts mainly in the UK, Ireland and North America through strong brands such as British Gas, Hive, Direct Energy and Bord Gáis Energy, supported by around 12,000 engineers and technicians.

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