Home automation experts have heard the message loud and clear: simplify, simplify, simplify.

As exciting as the ultimate smart home may seem, end users want control of their home automation devices. Many homeowners have thought about their priorities before they talk to dealers—they want their home technology working for them, not vice versa.

Rob Puric, director of the connected home division at Honeywell, based in Morristown, N.J., said his company’s research produced feedback from end users such as, “Help me save money” and “This feature gives me joy, comfort … I just want connectedness” as well as simplicity, quality and control.

For example, Puric said, people “want a second keypad as a backup. They want something to reach for in the middle of the night in the master bedroom.” At Icontrol Networks, based in Redwood City, Calif., Greg Roberts, VP of marketing, said the company’s state-of-home-automation report taught his team valuable lessons.

“The key thing from the report is that the smart home has to address common, daily needs of consumers in their home,” Roberts said. “The fun and cool technologies, the bells and whistles—they are not going to drive the mass market for the consumer home. The questions consumers are asking are, ‘What can address my daily life? What can help me manage my home and family?’ ”

Standard home automation features in 2015 generally refer to integrated devices that control lighting, thermostats, geo-fencing technology, video cameras, entertainment technologies, house door locks and garage door access.

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