The number of smart speakers/home assistants has doubled and seems to be powering ownership of other devices, but the appeal of the smart home in general has stagnated
Ownership of Internet of Things (IoT) smart speakers and home assistants has doubled since last year, with the number of households owning more than three devices up by a quarter since 2017.
According to a new report by TechUK and researchers GfK, over 40 percent of consumers believe that high prices remain a significant barrier to broader smart home technology uptake however, with security and privacy concerns lingering.
Yet ownership of connected home smart devices is on the rise in the UK as household purchases of three or more smart devices grew from 35 percent last year to 44 percent in 2018. While houses with no smart devices dropped from 20 percent to 16 percent.
However, security and privacy issues are major barriers in IoT device uptake.
Matthew Evans, head of techUK’s IoT programme commented in an emailed statement: “The Connected Home can deliver real productivity and cost savings to consumers, as well as that elusive prize of peace of mind.”
“However, our report demonstrates that privacy and security concerns are real barriers to the adoption of connected home technologies.”
These concerns are evident as 23 percent of those surveyed state that privacy is a barrier when considering purchasing a smart device, while 16 percent said security was a major concern. TechUK and GfK survey a 1000 people in the UK for their report.
Consumer concerns about privacy and security is backed up by a second report published today that found over 45 percent of those using a home assistant like Siri or Alexa believe the devices are listening all the time, even when they have not been given a wake up command.
The survey of a 1000 smart home speaker owners in the UK by consultancy Accenture also found that 28 percent of device users do not use it to make any kind of financial transactions because of their security concerns.
See also: BT Wins IoT Flood Response Deal
Emma Kendrew, Artificial Intelligence Lead for Accenture said in emailed statement: “Many people are not using them to their full potential because of trust issues. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about how these voice assistants work.”
“Artificial intelligence and the voice assistants that use it are examples of technology that should serve humanity. So as the developers of these services, we need to bridge that trust gap, so that people can see and make use of the many benefits instead. One avenue is for technology companies to extend their work with financial institutions to create services that consumers have greater trust and confidence in.”