Smart homes are no longer just a sci-fi-esque vision of the future – connected homes and gadgets are quickly becoming the norm. Technology is developing at an extremely fast rate and the recent increase of IoT devices in the consumer market resulted in 8.4 billion connected “things” in use worldwide.
The rapid adoption of connected devices has empowered consumers to control their home appliances and protect their homes remotely from their smartphones or tablets. In fact, connected devices are taking over the homes of UK residents – YouGov research predicts that close to a quarter of Britons (23%) own one or more smart home devices already.
There are a number of things fueling this consumer adoption of connected smart home technology; the convenience of always being connected, even when you’re not home, is of huge value to a millennial generation who value freedom, control and interaction. So it is no surprise that PwC predicted £10.8bn would be spent on smart home devices in 2019 alone.
Smart tech has gone beyond the label of a home accessory and has transformed the way people live their everyday lives. With the interest and appetite for smart home devices on the rise, we have taken a look at three of the emerging trends in the market.
1. Entertainment devices are top of the pops
We live in an age where you can arrive home, flop down on the couch, tell your device to turn on the lights, and ask Alexa to set a reminder for you to go to yoga. Then you pull out your phone and use it as a remote to turn on the TV and scroll through the series that you’re bingeing. Convenience is at the tip of our fingers when it comes to entertainment; it’s no wonder entertainment products led the way in a survey from GfK Global where people were asked to pick the product/solution with the most appeal. In the survey, 20% of respondents chose smart home entertainment as the most appealing followed by security and control (14%).
2. Tech is revolutionising home security
Smart home tech is disrupting home security as we know it. The importance of protecting the home along with all the valuable possessions, both monetary and sentimental, that come with it has not been overlooked by consumers. The same survey from GfK Global showed security devices coming out as the second most appealing kind of smart devices after entertainment. Rather than taking out an insurance offering on it’s own, home owners are looking for ways to protect their homes in a more proactive way. Smart devices, such as smart security cameras, window sensors, and smart doorbells alert users to potential issues as and when they arise, so they can react quickly, no matter where they are in the world – giving them a better chance of preventing an issue before the damage is serious.
As well as security gadgets becoming a part of our everyday lives at home, technology is revolutionising security by enabling insurance and technology to work together. Our insurance offering at Neos encourages homeowners to take the power of proactive security into their own hands and this is only possible with technology.
3. Pet lovers are getting smart
Smart homes are no longer limited to us helping us – now devices in homes are also looking out for our pets. According to American Express, it’s estimated that the average pet owner spends approximately £1,252 on their pets every single year. Devices such as automated feeders mean your dog won’t miss their dinner if you’re home late, while smart cameras enable pet owners to keep an eye on their animals no matter where they are using their connected device, whether that is at their desk at work or even if they are just in the next room in the house.
4. Boys love their smart home toys
Research by SmartBrief discovered trends in who is likely to own smart home devices. Interestingly, men are twice as likely to own smart speakers, thermostats, CO2 monitors and security systems than women. Additionally, while smart home technology has benefits for people of all ages, smart home security products appear to be particularly popular with first-time home owners and young parents. Smart home devices offer users the freedom to maintain control ver their homes while still living a busy ‘out and about’ lifestyle and for parents, smart home devices such as smart camera mean that they are able to relax while still keeping an eye on what their kids are getting up to.
5. The European smart tech marketing is booming
North America still reigns as the largest market for sales of smart home tech, but Europe is hot on its heels. In fact, the UK was named as the fastest-growing and second largest market for sales of ‘smart’ devices for the home, according to a survey from GfK Global. 72% of UK consumers reported that smart home technology can improve their lives, so it is no surprise that the industry is rocketing onwards and upwards. Taking a closer look at Europe, research this year found that Germany and France joined the UK as the leading countries in Europe to adopt smart home devices, followed by Italy and Spain.
As smart home technology continues to advance, we will see it become even more integrated in our everyday lives. As it continues to shape our habits, it will evolve from a lifestyle accessory and take on an even bigger role as a lifestyle enabler.
Guest post by Matt Poll, CEO at Neos – an insurance company that provides smart home technology and home insurance.
Image Credit: Amazon
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