SOURCE: Moen Incorporated

Moen Incorporated

October 27, 2014 06:05 ET

Moen Watch 2015 - Day 1: A Daily Look at Research Shaping 2015 Consumer Behavior Trends

The Connected Home: Technology-Driven Living Emerges in the Home Design Marketplace

NORTH OLMSTED, OH--(Marketwired - Oct 27, 2014) - Moen believes in creating thoughtfully designed products inspired by you and me -- average homeowners who interact with water several times a day. How many minutes do you spend in the shower? Just where on the wall would you like a grab bar placed, so your three-year old can reach it? And if you could have your dream bath, what would it look like? It's questions like these that are a top priority for Moen's Consumer and Market Insights group and the research they conduct.

Moen is excited to present the findings of this extensive research in the form of the fourth annual Moen Watch, a yearly preview of some of the consumer behavior trends they have identified. Over the next week, Moen will release articles on a variety of industry trends, the first addressing the concept of the Connected Home -- exploring the expanding world of technologically savvy home environments.

WHAT IS A CONNECTED HOME?

Moen has previously reported on the trend of Digital Dwellings, touching on the integration of smart electronics into consumers' daily lives. The concept of the Connected Home is the evolution of this trend, where homeowners are harnessing the power of intelligent devices to effectively manage their day-to-day activities in a completely integrated and unified way.

"As digital devices become prevalent throughout every space in the home, consumers are now demanding that the technology be convenient and meaningful to their everyday lives," says Jack Suvak, senior director of consumer and marketing insights, Moen. "The incorporation of technology that can be easily adapted to the way people live is considered now more than ever before when homeowners are making interior décor decisions. They're looking to blend these electronics seamlessly with new and existing household furnishings to enhance their overall quality of life."

WHY A CONNECTED HOME?

The global market for smart home automation devices was estimated at $4.4 billion in 2013, projected to grow more than ten-fold by 2018 as the range of smart home devices continues to grow, proving there is a real need for design solutions that can adapt intelligently to the user's needs.1

The home automation concept has introduced smart living as a major component where consumers have the ability to simply access and control their entire home through an integrated network, thereby lifting their existing standard of living. In fact, 28 percent of consumers own a connected home device2 and are taking advantage of some of the lifestyle benefits associated with automated control, including:

  • Luxurious and comfortable living - Backed with smart technology support, a Connected Home can make the most of your living space. Whether it be with mood lighting or exclusive entertainment systems, these amenities can be accessed through a convenient centralized control panel.

  • Security - Connected Homes can enable strong circles for security and safety with closed circuit television devices, surveillance systems, automatic locks and remote control based security.

  • Entertainment - From state-of-the-art music and automated woofer systems to LCD screens, a Connected Home makes for the picture-perfect entertainment hub, for both homeowners and guests.

WHAT MAKES A CONNECTED HOME?

It is seamless...
A Connected Home starts with seamless integration. This means installing an automation system that will help a consumer monitor their home with just the touch of a button. One home builder, Bill Beazley Homes, is on the cutting edge of technology, providing smart home options to the residents of Augusta, Georgia and surrounding areas. The Smart Home system is self-monitoring, which means once it's installed, there are no monthly fees to keep it running. Compatible with smartphones and other Internet-connected devices, Beazley's Smart Home takes simplicity, efficiency and convenience to new levels. Homeowners are able to monitor children while they are alone, adjust the temperature of the thermostat and receive alerts when there is an issue, such as a leak, that could cause major damage to belongings. All of this can be accessed conveniently from a smartphone screen.

It adapts...
A Connected Home over time has the ability to adjust to the homeowner's every move. Brands are taking the adaptable, oftentimes wearable, technology trend to a new level, creating smart devices that seamlessly deliver useful information unique to the user. As a result, consumers often feel they've developed a sixth sense with these products, dubbed "info-sense." 

"The volume of data and smart devices in the U.S. and Canada continues to increase dramatically," added Suvak. "On average, those who own a connected home device have approximately three different devices. This adoption level comes from some of the earliest users and may very well change if manufacturers can improve the delivery of useful and actionable features." 

Some brands that are on the cutting edge of integrated technology include:

  • Nest Learning Thermostat - This next generation thermostat learns and adapts to the user's schedule and programs itself. Once it's on the wall, it automatically activates the best features and starts learning about the home and the people who live in it. The Nest Learning Thermostat can also be controlled from a smart phone -- if for some reason the daily schedule or travel plans change. And over time, it can lower heating and cooling bills up to 20 percent. Within two weeks, the Nest Thermostat has made a schedule for the home that's helping save energy, making it simple to keep the Connected Home controlled and comfortable.

  • Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock - This innovative, bio-alarm clock app analyzes sleep patterns and wakes users in the lightest sleep phase. During the night, phases range from light sleep to deep sleep, occasionally entering into a dream state or REM-sleep. Since different phases result in different movements, the Sleep Cycle alarm clock is able to use the accelerometer in a smart phone to monitor these movements and determine the current sleep phase of the user. Sleep Cycle then utilizes a 30-minute alarm window that ends at the desired alarm time, waking only in the lightest sleep phase. This smart app leaves users feeling more refreshed and fully awake when it's time to rise.

  • Canary - Having a connected home, means not needing continual updates from every device. Intelligent devices like Canary, learn how a homeowner lives and adapts to their daily life and sends alerts when something is amiss. It contains an HD video camera and sensors that track everything from temperature and air quality, to vibration, sound, and movement, controlled entirely via smartphone.

It is easy to upgrade...
Consumers want the flexibility to easily improve the devices they currently own, transforming what may start as an uninformed device, into a smart piece of technology. Google has developed Chromecast, a small USB drive that plugs into a television, or any HDMI port, and connects wirelessly to a laptop, tablet or smartphone. Once connected to Wi-Fi, Chromecast can launch videos on Netflix, YouTube or Google Play on alternate devices or, can be viewed on the user's television.

"As the idea of designing a Connected Home becomes mainstream, we'll see brands offering more robust product selections with enhanced features that utilize both in-home networking, as well as cloud computing to provide better performance and consumer experiences," concluded Suvak. "New product, technology and distribution initiatives have gained quite a bit of momentum in the last few years which promises the introduction of more useful home design options for consumers."

For more information about consumer behavior trends from Moen, visit moen.com.

About Moen
As the #1 faucet brand in North America, Moen offers a diverse selection of thoughtfully designed kitchen and bath faucets, showerheads, accessories, bath safety products and kitchen sinks for residential applications -- each delivering the best possible combination of meaningful innovation, useful features, on-trend styling and lasting value. In addition, Moen® Commercial offers superior-performing products that deliver lower lifetime costs for today's facilities.

Moen's legacy of thoughtful design stemmed from an invention by Al Moen. In 1937, after burning himself at a sink with traditional single taps for hot and cold water, a young, determined Al Moen set about inventing a single-handle faucet designed to mix hot and cold. The invention, finalized in 1939, revolutionized the plumbing industry and set the stage for 75 years of innovation.

Moen is part of Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc. (NYSE: FBHS), which creates products and services that help fulfill the dreams of homeowners and help people feel more secure. The Company's trusted brands include Moen® faucets, Master Lock® and Sentry® Safe security products, MasterBrand® cabinets and Therma-Tru® entry door systems. Fortune Brands holds market leadership positions in all of its segments. Fortune Brands is part of the S&P MidCap 400 Index. For more information, please visit www.FBHS.com.

1 IHS, 2013
2 IHS, 2013

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