Voice Control Fuels Smart Home Uptake

New report talks up smart-home accessory renaissance

Alexa, Siri and their voice assistant fellow travellers are underlining increased consumer demand for smart-home products, according to Futuresource Consulting’s latest Smart Home Consumer Survey.

Indeed, the report predicts that the light switch may be on its way to obsolescence as consumers increasingly turn to apps on their smartphone or Amazon’s Alexa to control their homes.

But the recent embrace of voice assistance looks like the real turning point in the uptake of the smart home. The Futuresource report reveals that 27% of UK homes have installed at least one smart-home device that can be controlled remotely on a mobile or hub device. The study focuses on the main smart-home categories of lighting, security, climate control and smart audio. While 30% of respondents said that they were likely to buy a speaker with voice assistant in the next six to 12 months, UK consumers have already embraced climate control, with 14% of those surveyed having installed smart thermostats – Hive was the most popular brand.

Philips Hue led the way in lighting – the second most important category in the smart home. Security rounded off the top three, with 8% adoption.
The survey confirms the prediction that the smart home will experience major growth in the next few years. To reiterate, voice-assistant devices will be a key driver in the process, with 30% of respondents will consider buying either Echo or Google Home in the near future.

Indeed, more than 19% of voice-assistant owners surveyed said they used their device to control their central heating, while a third intend to do so in the future. Meanwhile, a fifth of all Alexa or Google owners used their speaker to switch on their lights – a further 38% said they would do in the future.