Consumers Fed Up With Iot, Demand Dives Claims Report

According to an electronics weekly article, demand for Nest and Dropcam IoT products fell sharply at the beginning of the year:

Argus reports that by May 2015, interest in connected home products was 15% lower than where it was the same time last year, despite there being significantly more connected home products on the market, and correspondingly more information about the technology available. Early adopter tech enthusiasts, he says, drove a lot of the excitement (thanks in part to a host of successful Kickstarter campaigns), but now mainstream consumers are finding that the reality of configuring and maintaining a smart home system is more work than they bargained for.


I requested the actual report from Argus ~2 weeks ago, they never emailed a copy. I just tried again a moment ago, no email. Because of that, hard to analyze the details.

That chart is weird. I am not sure what it is measuring. Sales? Public opinion? And it's not even measuring the actual levels of either, just the change in it from the previous year.

It's an interesting claim but not sure how to analyze given the limited information provided and unclear presentation.

Full report is here.

Thanks. It's getting weirder. Their source for these statistics are consumer reviews:

It's not clear which reviews (presumably Amazon?) and how they are measuring this (total number of reviews per year? which products are they counting?)

The other slides have similar patterns / issues.

I don't have any knowledge / research to confirm or deny. I do suspect the size of the drop (dramatic) they are claiming is at least somewhat wrong especially since they are focusing on reviews, rather than units sold or total dollar volume sold.

You would prefer units sold/total dollars over somebody's instant evaluation of someone else's fake review of a product they don't have? ;)

What do people bitch about least in their security camera? Security! (That's actually believable)

And here we can clearly see delight rising over a light buzz year:

Poor Foscam, maybe some layoffs in the interactive marketing department, eh?

Any chart that lists 'speed/performance' as both the biggest negative and positive attributes of security cameras is a pointless chart.

I think it's no different* than the case of an integrator survey asking what they like the most and what they like the least about distributors.

If 39% were to say that "reliability of shipping" was the thing they liked the most (because their particular distributor pays extra attention to shipping), and yet a different 33% said it was their biggest gripe (because their distributor emphasizes having stock), then you could say that the number one positive is also the number one negative.

This would suggest that improving ones shipping could pay a double dividend.

*Not defending this 'report' per se, only the 'any chart that lists...'

"someone else's fake review of a product they don't have"

Faking is not my biggest concern.

One issue is how number of reviews relate to number of products purchases. That ratio could change over time. It's possible that early adopters are much more likely to leave reviews and / or that as more reviews are on Amazon, the incentive for additional reviewers to post diminishes.

Also, the Google / Dropcam acquisition could have warped this over the past 6 months as Dropcam stopped marketing and Google / Nest started the switch to their own Nest Cam.

Finally, what if there are new products that people are buying that either are not in the group this company was tracking or are being bought on sites or places that this group is not tracking.

There's just too many ways that tracking consumer reviews as a metric for industry growth / demand could be flawed.

I'll approach this issue from anohter point of view, ancedotes. I have done a lot of ad hoc evaluation of various IoT systems over the past 5 years.

My findings so far point a red finger at most of the 900 MHz system, whether Zigbee or other standard. The range is alway much more limited than the specifications suggest and the reliability is always marginal. Commercial systems like Innovonics are much better than any current "home" IoT system yet not much more expensive. They are not however packaged for IoT applications.

The Wi-Fi based systems like Ubiquiti are somewhat better, but still not quite reliable enough to be deployed with confidence.

My point is, the IoT industry made a good jump up in reliability when it moved beyond X-10 but now has stalled out, leaving fading hopes of a really solid solutions. This may result in flagging sales.

Does anyone have a different picture to report?

"The Wi-Fi based systems like Ubiquiti are somewhat better, but still not quite reliable enough to be deployed with confidence."

It's fine if you do not have confidence in Ubiquiti, but overall integrators are confident in Ubiquiti, e.g., Favorite Wireless Video Surveillance 2014.

My findings relate only to Ubiquiti's mFi IoT power control system. I have no comments on their cameras (except for the generic negative of the closed system) and only solid results with their wireless links. Further, my experiments thus far a relatively small scale.