These days it feels like everything is 'smart'. It's no longer restricted to phones, tablets, and watches, because we have smart lights, smart speakers, even smart washing machines that can automatically order new detergent when you're close to running out. But how many people actually bothered to buy this stuff? Beyond the Echo Dot that was an impulse purchase on Prime Day, I mean.
Well according to the latest YouGov report 23 per cent of British people own more than one smart home device, which seems to show that they're becoming more popular amongst regular people. It's worth pointing out that YouGov classification only includes lights, security, speakers, and thermostats. Other stuff doesn't count for some reason, including those smart meters energy companies force you to install.
As you would expect smart speakers are the most popular devices, with 11 per cent of people owning at least one. That's followed by the smart thermostat (8 per cent), lighting (5 per cent), and security gadgets (3 per cent).
Apparently only 8 per cent of people own more than one smart home device, but owning one suddenly increases your chances of buying another. 40 per cent of people who own one say they consider buying another, especially if that first device is a smart speaker. Which makes sense, since the major selling points is the virtual assistants inside can control smart home devices with voice commands.
20 per cent of smart speaker owners own smart lights, compared to 5 per cent of the general population, and 19 per cent own a smart thermostat compared to 6 per cent of regular people. That said 54 per cent of smart device owners don't really see the need for a virtual assistant, as do 56 per cent of non-owners.
As for the people who don't own any smart devices, YouGov found that most of them were worried about security issues. 39 per cent of people mentioned hacking or cyber attacks as a concern, 36 per cent have concerns about data privacy, while another 36 per cent simply feel they're too expensive.
Russell Feldman, Director of Technology Research at YouGov, said:
“Ownership numbers are impressive, for this point in the product cycle. The key is to get people buying their first device. Once they do so, they are much more likely to go on and add to their smart home collection. This means that the smart home industry has two areas of growth that may require different strategies - existing entrants to the market, and those from outside.
Having said that, many people are either suspicious or don’t see the need for the devices. To truly initiate a smart home revolution, prospective customers need not only to be convinced of the capabilities of the technology, but why they need it and how it can help them.”
You can read the full 2018 YouGov Smart Homes Report here.