a screeshot of Z-Wave Alliance Ecosystem Report cover
Z-Wave Alliance

Z-Wave Global Report Reveals Interoperability Still Top of Mind for Buyers of Smart Devices

Z-Wave Alliance releases 2023 Ecosystem Report that has robust data on global smart home devices by region, demographics, and what we can expect to see this year on the global stage.

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For the past four years, the Z-Wave Alliance, the standards development organization dedicated to advancing the smart home and Z-Wave technology, unveils a research study on the state of the smart home market. The report dives into smart device ownership by region, product type, demographics, installation preference (DIY or Pro), and more. The report provides a good read on the state of the smart home marketplace globally as well as regionally. This year's report, Z-Wave Ecosystem Report, was released today and done in cooperation with Interpret. And just like past reports, it provides noteworthy insights which we outline below.

Building on their exploration of the U.S. market in the Alliance's 2022 Ecosystem Report, this year's report examines key growth points in the U.S. and comparative data from the UK, France, and Germany. The report takes a deep dive into the importance of interoperability, and its impacts on purchasing behaviors and assesses primary barriers to smart home device adoption.

a. photo of a woman in a kitchen controlling her smart devices on a tabletInteroperability and basic smart home tech is what consumers want in 2023 per Z-Wave Alliance's report on Smart HomeiStock

After reading the report, here are a few key findings and insights we think are worth pointing out:

  • Interoperability with products already owned is a top requirement for future purchases across all three EU countries as well as the U.S. market. The importance of interoperability increases exponentially as more devices are owned. In the U.S. alone, 54% of device owners consider interoperability an important consideration in their next purchase.
  • The new end-user expectation is basic smart home technology in any new home. Over half of smart home device owners, and expected movers, in the U.S., UK, and Germany would like their next home to have at least basic smart home technology, for which they would pay extra.
  • The market is healthy and eager to grow, with the U.S. leading global smart home adoption and impressive year-over-year growth in the UK, France, and Germany.
  • Z-Wave Owners across all four countries are generally more satisfied with their security systems and are more likely to purchase additional smart home devices in the next six months. The highest interest was indicated for sensor kits, especially for electrical and fire safety, and water usage.
  • DIY vs Pro Installation: A strong pattern has emerged suggesting growing consumer confidence in investing in smart home products. However, the report reveals ample opportunities for the professional channel to enable direct-to-consumer sales of add-on devices.

“The 2023 Z-Wave Ecosystem Report provides a much-needed referendum on interoperability,” said Z-Wave Alliance Executive Director Mitch Klein. “The findings in the report arrive at a critical moment in the maturity of the smart home to offer insights across the category, globally. The report follows in the stead of exciting Z-Wave news including surpassing 4,100 certified devices, the first Z-Wave Long Range products, new board members, as well as the completion of the Z-Wave Source Code Project. The details within the 2023 report are instrumental in helping guide business decisions as we navigate what could be the most exciting year of smart home market growth thus far.”

a woman using finger sensor to unlock her doorConsumers want smart home devices that are easy to use and can work with their existing devices.iStock

Beyond data, the report includes a case study from MCA Systems S.A.S. detailing the dramatic energy savings achieved by integrating an award-winning Z-Wave-enabled Horus solution into hotel properties.

If you are interested in reading the complete Z-Wave 2023 Ecosystem report, it is available for download here. For Z-Wave Alliance members, you have exclusive access to the full 145-page research report via your member portal. The complete proprietary data report is available to purchase by non-members or, is included in any new or renewal memberships. Contact the Z-Wave Alliance at administration@z-wavealliance.org with questions on membership or click here for purchase information.

After reading the report and understanding the marketplace, the key takeaways for us are interoperability is still top of mind for consumers and we need to deal with it to help the marketplace grow. Consumers want basic smart home technology in their homes, especially a new home when they move. Another key takeaway is consumers are satisfied with their current security systems but likely to buy more smart home devices to work with it. And when they do, they are open to either setting it up themselves or having a professional do it.

Overall, the Z-Wave Alliance Ecosystem report for 2023 reveals the smart home market is healthy and eager to grow not only in the US but globally, specifically in France, Germany, and the UK. Manufacturers, installers, and retailers just need to address interoperability and keep things simple for consumers. If they do, users will buy and ask for help if needed.

And for those of you who don't know, GearBrain has a global solution for interoperability. It's our product find engine which can help users find, buy and connect any smart device, including ones compatible with Z-Wave. Just sign up and add your smart devices to your MyGear section. Then you can search for any smart device that is compatible with your existing smart-connected products in your smart home.

The GearBrain, First Compatibility Find Engine for Smart DevicesGearBrain's mission is to simplify the Internet of Things or new connected devices for consumers. Many of today's new connected ...

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