North Olmsted, Ohio… Ten years ago, while smart home technology was still a foreign concept to many homeowners, Moen was beginning to dip its toe into the digital space with its MotionSense™ touchless faucet. A lot has evolved since then.
Over the years, technology has advanced rapidly with many innovations impacting the growth of the smart home industry. Between 2015 and 2018 alone, Google and Amazon both saw major advancements including Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Ring – and Moen didn’t stop innovating either. Building upon the release of its first touchless faucet, the company enhanced its product offerings with more hands-free options and the release of its first smart home products. Then, at the beginning of 2020, interest in the smart home accelerated, as many consumers held on tight as the world became more tech-savvy faster than many could ever have imagined, pushing forward the use of tech services in industries like communications, food, medicine and more.
Add to that, because of the pandemic, many of us were working, living and learning all at home, so the importance of creating spaces that work smarter to make our everyday lives easier and enhance our overall well-being increased. Hygiene became top of mind, and with it, the desire for touchless and sanitized surfaces – from improved restaurant tables to home offices to cleaner kitchens. Suddenly, smart home products started to enable solutions caused by these new problems.
Now that the era of the smart home is in full swing, Moen’s Consumer & Market Insights team took a look at how technology has shaped our homes, examining how technology has transformed and what Moen has done to help elevate smart home solutions. Here are their findings.
Smarter Water for a Smarter Home
As the desire for smarter homes continues to increase, people are becoming more familiar with the concept of smart water monitoring solutions and understanding more clearly the benefits of this growing category, especially in regards to home safety and security.
“This is not just tech for tech’s sake. Each solution must support home safety in a meaningful way that makes sense for the user,” says Adam Barger, director of global brand marketing at Moen. “Increased home security is the most well-understood smart home technology, and smart water systems provide security for the home’s plumbing. People want products that will help them do things they otherwise couldn’t on their own, and Moen has innovated to develop products for those buying desires.”
From Moen research, today’s consumers prefer integrated systems far more than single-room solutions and – addressing both home security and interoperability – Moen’s Smart Water Network features a whole-home smart water ecosystem.
The system integrates seamlessly into the home, giving homeowners the ability to manage water all from the palm of their hand – providing them with comfort, security, conservation and the opportunity to reduce the spread of dirt and germs by offering completely touchless experiences.
Moen's Flo Smart Water Monitor and Shutoff, Smart Leak Detectors and Smart Sump Pump Monitor are part of the Smart Water Security System, which helps protect a home from water damage and leaks, 24/7. The Moen Smart Faucet and Smart Shower offer touchless personalization within the kitchen and bath areas, and work with the entire system to ensure total user control all within the Moen Smart Water App.
In 2021, Moen distributed a survey* to homeowners aged 25-66 to gain a better understanding of smart home enthusiasts and what is important to them. Not surprisingly, the survey found that not all smart home product purchasers are alike, with many different motivations and hesitations about installing smart home products, ranging from security and privacy concerns to perspectives on ease of use and convenience.
Moen has developed innovations over the years to help combat common concerns and provide users with peace of mind: Moen’s technology stores all consumer data in the cloud over SSL and does not share it with a third party. Users also can access information regarding their account and connectivity through Moen customer service to assist with remote diagnostics and troubleshooting, as well as to verify user identity.
For others in the report, simple tweaks in engineering could significantly enhance their smart home experience.
“Consumers are looking for intuitive designs that can be easily understood from both a design and tech standpoint, especially when hosting guests who aren’t already familiar with these items,” adds Barger. “Moen continues to listen to consumer insights by adapting to their needs and creating products that are both beautiful and functional.”
Since the last report, Moen has developed the Smart Faucet with Motion Control, which allows users to operate the faucet with simple hand motions as well as voice activation. Water temperature can be controlled with a hand wave over the sensor: wave right for hot, left for cold. And, it can work just like a regular faucet when needed. For the smart homeowner, this is a great option – the waving sensor is intuitive to use, the voice activation will deliver temperature and amounts of water as requested, and the touchless aspects help keep germs and contaminants at bay in the kitchen.
The concern for our environment and desire for cleaner resources is very apparent, with most of the country aware of the world’s climate conditions now more than ever before. Research supports this, with studies showing that 61 percent** of respondents are seeking energy-efficient labels when making purchases.
“Consumers today champion brands that commit to sustainability, with 32 percent*** prioritizing companies that actively reduce their impact on the environment,” says Barger. “It’s no surprise that the climate is more on people’s minds than ever, which may affect their purchasing habits.”
In 2020, Moen launched Mission Moen, the company’s sustainability promise to protect and preserve the world’s water resources, including through keeping oceans cleaner and using water more wisely. The commitment has two components: innovate to save 1 trillion gallons of water and repurpose 2,000 tons of ocean plastic over the next 10 years.
Moen has engineered a variety of products to save a substantial amount of water while in use, while leveraging innovation and technology to also create an exceptional experience with water. Essentially, these products are designed with technology so advanced that they have the ability to think and work more sustainably. For example, the Smart Shower is so intuitive, the water will heat up to the user’s desired, pre-set temperature, and pause once it reaches it in order to save water.
“If research tells us anything, it is that the need for smart products – that are also more sustainable products and services – is only growing, and the landscape of our surroundings will continue to impact consumers’ purchasing habits,” says Barger. “Moen remains at the forefront of these trends and will continue to develop new technology to align with them.”
For more information about these trends and Moen products, visit moen.com.
*Moen 2021 Smart Home Segmentation Survey.
**Research from New Home Trends Institute by John Burns Real Estate Consulting, LLC. April 2021 survey of 1,230 homeowners who own at least one smart home product.
***CABA “Smart Home as a Service” 2020 Report.
Amazon, Alexa and all related logos are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.
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Moen is the #1 consumer faucet brand in North America, offering a vast array of stylish and innovative kitchen and bath faucets, showerheads, accessories, bath safety products, kitchen sinks, garbage disposals, leak detection products and connected home offerings for residential applications that give consumers more power than ever before to understand and control the water that flows through their homes. These thoughtful designs deliver an exceptional user experience and elevate the way people interact with water every day. In addition, Moen® Commercial offers superior-performing products that can deliver lower lifetime costs for today's facilities.
Moen is part of Fortune Brands Innovations, Inc. (NYSE: FBIN), a brand, innovation and channel leader focused on exciting, supercharged categories in the home products, security and commercial building markets. Moen anchors Water Innovations (WINN), which also includes several brands under the House of Rohl® including Perrin & Rowe®, ROHL®, Riobel®, Shaws® and Victoria + Albert®. Fortune Brands’ other brands include Fiberon® composite decking and railing products, Master Lock® and Sentry® Safe security products, LARSON® storm doors and windows and Therma-Tru® entry door systems. For more information, please visit www.FBIN.com.