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Last week, a report from consumer research company Argus Insights found that consumer demand for smart home products had fallen 15% in the past year. That lack of consumer demand seems to be playing out in the market right now.
Leeo, which makes a connected night light and smoke detector, laid off 30% of its staff last Wednesday.
Manufacturer Quirky is selling Wink, its smart home hub provider.
Crowd-funding investors have given up on smart home startups Goji and Plum because they have delayed their product launches by more than a year. All of these announcements paint a bleak picture of the market right now.
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The Wink smart home hub may be representative of the issues that smart home products are having in gaining consumer interest. The hub’s software has proven to be prone to a number of glitches since it was launched, and a security vulnerability forced some customers to return their hubs last April to get them fixed.
The Argus Insights report from last week noted that consumers have been slow to adopt certain smart home products because they have been frustrated with glitches and complicated setup processes.
A Peel survey earlier this year found that smart TVs are the only smart home device that more than 10% of US consumers are planing to buy this year.
The Argus Insights report also suggested that the smart home market is in a lull right now because early adopters have already bought what they want and other consumers have yet to pick up the slack.
Smart home startups are going to have to overcome the reputation for glitches that is starting to form around smart home products.
They will also need to improve their products and designs as companies like Google and Amazon continue to release new products that will likely raise customer expectations for smart home devices.
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