The most commonly purchased home technology option is a home security system followed by pre-wiring for cable or satellite TV and a built-in home theater, according to a survey of more than 400 consumers.

The survey, conducted by Internet Home Alliance, features consumers who are either or prospective buyers of newly constructed homes. The study was led by Alliance members CompUSA, Cisco, CompTIA/HTI+, Hewlett Packard, Home Director, Invensys, KB Home, SBC Communications and Whirlpool.

Other key findings about consumer preference for home technology options were:

  • About half of the target consumers (49 percent) presented with at least one home technology option made a purchase.

  • The home technologies that are most important to current and prospective newly constructed home buyers are pre-wired cable/satellite TV and a home security system, both of which consumers indicated should come standard in newly constructed homes. Voted “somewhat important” were structured wiring, multizone HVAC, an air purification system, a wireless home computer network, an energy management system, a community-wide high-speed Internet connection, a home control/automation system and lighting control. Consumers gave a “neutral” importance to Web cameras and an Internet refrigerator.

  • A majority of consumers said they were either “somewhat” or “very familiar” with many of the technology options available. Most were not familiar with Internet refrigerators and home-based health management systems.

  • Outside of pre-wiring for cable or satellite TV, which comes standard in 63 percent of newly constructed homes, the most popular technology is an intercom system and distributed audio followed closely by a central vacuum and home security system.

  • Participants summed up their experiences around these options with one word: “overwhelmed.” The Alliance’s research found that technology options are often the last-mentioned options and they are often presented in a cursory, checklist fashion.

  • Consumers reported that they would prefer to purchase options after seeing them featured in a showroom.

  • Most target consumers (69 percent) considered making one of more technology purchases for their newly constructed home independently of their builder.

  • About 53 percent of buyers of newly constructed homes expressed great interest in rolling up the costs of their new home technologies, particularly pre-wiring for cable or satellite TV, structured wiring and multizone HVAC, into their home mortgage.

The results cited in the American Digital Dream research report are based on a two-phase study that included focus groups conducted in Denver in June 2004 and a Web-based survey of 404 target consumers administered in September 2004.

Internet Home Alliance is a cross-industry network of companies in the home technology market.

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