IoT devices for the smart home appeal strongly to consumers, but the software that drives them has a long way to go to please users. That's according to a new report from Argus Insights, which studied IoT products from ADT, Comcast, Vivint, Honeywell and other vendors.
The report, which was released this week, measured the "delight factor" that consumers reported for various IoT-related hardware and software products. It found that people generally reported much more positive attitudes toward hardware devices than they did for the software applications required to use them.
The relationship between hardware and software was not uniform across the board, however. Some vendors scored equally well in both categories, while others excelled in one while performing poorly in the other.
In particular, Philips reflected "a market trend of devices that are far more delightful than their apps," according to Argus. Meanwhile, Comcast and ADT were poorly regarded for both hardware and software, while Honeywell and Vivint scored highly in both categories.
Argus interprets these trends as evidence that "incumbent home security companies" like ADT, Comcast and AT&T, which have had connected devices in homes for years, are lagging behind vendors who in recent years have unveiled new hardware and software solutions for the smart home that handle much more than security.
What does this all mean for the channel? Two things. First, there is still a lot of opportunity for improving software for the smart home -- a task VARs can pursue alongside the vendors themselves.
Second, despite all of the IoT hype of late, connected devices still have a ways to go before consumers really like them. That's not to say IoT won't take over our homes eventually. But so far, users appear uneager to deploy connected devices that they generally view as mediocre -- a big challenge that IoT companies need to solve.