Surprisingly 94% of People Don’t Use Smart Speakers for Home Automation

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If you use your smart speaker to control various smart home and automation products, you might be in the minority of users.

Only about six percent of smart speaker owners use their devices to control smart home products, according to a new survey recently published by IHS Markit. Smart home products include automation devices from light bulbs to thermostats.

The study found that checking the weather or news was the most common use of smart speakers, closely followed by answering basic questions.

Controlling music was consistently the third most common use — even for heavily music-focused platforms like Apple’s own HomePod.

Here are the results of the survey, compiled in an easy-to-read graph.

Ihs Markit Smart Speaker Survey

All in all, about 65 percent of respondents used their smart speakers for the “big three” uses — news and weather, questions, and music.

It’s nearly as common to make a purchase by voice command as it is to control other devices with a smart speaker.

“Controlling smart home devices by voice currently represents only a small fraction of total smart-speaker interactions,” said Blake Kozak, an IHS Markit analyst.

Kozak went on to add that this is likely to change as more devices “come to rely” on voice control, and as more construction firms build out homes with automation products preinstalled.

Another factor that could lead to wider smart home growth generally is the prevalence of devices used for insurance purposes. For example, monitoring devices could check for water leaks or shutoff valves.

By the end of the year, Kozak forecasts that about one million home insurance policies across North America could include smart device support — with about 450,000 smart home speakers directly connected to insurance companies.

The survey covered most popular products and digital assistants, including HomePod and Siri, Google Home and Assistant, and Amazon Echo and Alexa. Samsung’s Bixby and Microsoft’s Cortana were also included in the study.

Amazon’s Alexa was the most popular voice assistant, with about 40 percent of respondents owning an Alexa-equipped device. Google Assistant came in second, and Apple’s Siri came in third.

IHS Markit conducted the survey between March and April 2018. The information services firm polled 937 smart speaker users in the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and Brazil.

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