Smart Speaker Owners Aren't Yet Widely Using Them to Control Connected Home Devices

IHS Markit conducted a new survey in March and April 2018, asking 937 smart speaker owners various questions about the usage of their devices, spreading across the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, and Brazil. According to the findings that have been shared today, just six percent of smart speaker owners used their speakers to command smart home devices like lights, switches, and thermostats.

The speakers and assistants included in the survey were HomePod/Siri, Google Home/Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, Bixby, and Amazon Echo/Alexa. The most popular category for smart speaker control for all speakers was asking about the weather and news, followed in descending order by: basic questions, music controls/discovery, sending a message and making a phone call, video controls/discovery, making a purchase, controlling smart home devices, and lastly a "none of these" category.


Despite the low usage rates for users interacting with smart home products through their speakers, IHS principal analyst Blake Kozak believes this will change in the near future.

“Controlling smart home devices by voice currently represents only a small fraction of total smart-speaker interactions,” said Blake Kozak, principal analyst, smart home, IHS Markit. “However, this category will continue to trend upward as more video-streaming devices come to rely on voice control, as security alarm systems adopt voice control to arm and disarm, and as more builders embed smart devices throughout new homes.”

Kozak believes that one area of potential smart home growth will come from insurance companies, who will "play a role" in educating customers about connected devices that could help them in their homes. These include products for water leak detection, flow detectors, and shutoff valves. In total, Kozak predicts more than one million home policies in North America will include at least one connected home device by the end of the year, and 450,000 smart speakers will be connected to insurance companies by that time as well.

In terms of smart assistant usage, Amazon Alexa was the most widely used voice assistant with 40 percent of respondents owning an Alexa device, and 23 percent owning a Google Home device. Siri came in third place, with the most inquiries for Apple's assistant also pertaining to the weather, news, and asking Siri a question.


For HomePod, Apple yesterday launched the smart speaker in Canada, France, and Germany via the Apple online store, Apple Store app, and in its retail locations in each country. HomePod allows users to command Siri to activate or deactivate their personal HomeKit products in the Home app, and represents Apple's first entry in the smart speaker market.

Related Roundup: HomePod
Buyer's Guide: HomePod (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
31 months ago
It is the only way I use my Hue Lights. Odd survey.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
31 months ago
Home automation products have been available since the 1980s. The latest wrinkle involving web-connected "hubs" adds another layer of complexity, this is progress? Average people are consumers of technology, they don't write programs and they really don't care to program a HA system. Geeks love this HA stuff and wealthy people hire geeks to do the programming -- there's your market in a nutshell -- geeks and the wealthy.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
31 months ago
You either like home automation stuff or you dont. Some friends will come over and think its really cool. Some others scoff at the idea and think its the dumbest thing theyve ever heard. I like tech, I think its cool that I can tell Siri goodnight and she turns off all the lights and turns on the bedroom fan. Once I own I house I can also have her set a certain temperature and lock the doors all with that one command. Its neat, but not necessary. Its not surprising to me that it isnt widely used.

I think the biggest issue is people dont know how to use them and set them up. I set up an echo and a couple of smart plugs for my parents under cabinet lighting. They wouldve never been able to get it set up on their own, but now that they have it they really like the simplicity.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
31 months ago
Most likely because not many have home automation products.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
31 months ago

I'd love to use my Echo Plus to control my smart switches, if only it would connect to them or not forget them for no reason. That'd be ideal

The garden variety light switch has zero latency and 99.9999% command reliability. Compare that to any of the myriad HA protocols and devices where latency is often measured in seconds and 95% is considered acceptable command reliability.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
31 months ago
Talking to gadgets is still really strange to me.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

First iPhone 12 Mini Hands-On Video Surfaces [Update: Video Pulled]

Wednesday October 28, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max aren't set to be available until November 13, but a Romanian YouTuber got his hands on the iPhone 12 mini and showed it off today, offering a size comparison between the iPhone 12 and the 12 mini along with going over some of the device's features. The iPhone 12 mini is identical to the iPhone 12 in design and functionality, but it has a...

Apple References Unreleased 2020 16-Inch MacBook Pro in Boot Camp Update

Monday October 26, 2020 8:42 am PDT by
Last week, Apple released an update for Boot Camp, its utility for running Windows on a Mac. While this update would typically be unremarkable, several of our readers noticed that the release notes reference an unreleased 2020 model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. While this could easily be a mistake, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is nearly a year old, so it is certainly a worthy candidate for a...

After Mocking Apple, Samsung May Remove Power Adapter From Galaxy S21 Box

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:29 pm PDT by
Samsung's Galaxy S21, coming in 2021, may not include a power adapter or headphones in the box, according to reports from Korean media sites highlighted by SamMobile. Rumors earlier this year also said that Samsung was considering removing these accessories from future smartphone models, but that didn't stop Samsung from mocking Apple for selling the iPhone 12 models without a power adapter...

Report: Apple Silicon iMac Featuring Desktop Class 'A14T' Chip Coming First Half of 2021

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
The first iMac powered by Apple Silicon is set to arrive in the first half of next year and will feature a desktop class "A14T" chip, according to Chinese-language newspaper The China Times. Codenamed "Mt. Jade," Apple's first custom-made desktop processor will be twinned with its first self-developed GPU, codenamed "Lifuka," both of which are being produced using TSMC's 5-nanometer process, ...

iPhone 12 Ceramic Shield Still 'Scratches at Level 6 With Deeper Grooves at Level 7' in Mohs Hardness Test

Wednesday October 28, 2020 7:10 am PDT by
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new Ceramic Shield front cover that is "tougher than any smartphone glass," according to Apple, but the displays on the devices still have similar scratch resistance as previous iPhones based on a new test. Zack Nelson today shared his much-anticipated iPhone 12 Pro durability test on his YouTube channel JerryRigEverything, and based on the Mohs...

2020 iPad Air vs. iPad Pro: Hands-On Comparison

Tuesday October 27, 2020 3:03 pm PDT by
Apple announced the new 2020 fourth-generation iPad Air in September, but the new tablets just started shipping out to customers last Friday. We picked one up and thought we'd do a hands-on comparison with the iPad Pro, which was last updated in March, because both tablets are about as powerful and share many similarities. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design and ...

MagSafe Charger Only Charges at Full 15W Speeds With Apple's 20W Power Adapter [Updated]

Monday October 26, 2020 3:38 pm PDT by
Alongside the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro models, Apple introduced a new MagSafe charger that attaches to the magnetic ring in the back of the devices, providing up to 15W of charging power, which is double the speed of the 7.5W Qi-based wireless charging maximum. Apple does not provide a power adapter with the $39 MagSafe charger, requiring users to supply their own USB-C compatible option. Apple...

Apple Files Mystery 'Personal Computer' With Placeholder 'B2002' Name in Bluetooth Product Database

Tuesday October 27, 2020 12:36 pm PDT by
Last week, a listing appeared in the Bluetooth product database for an Apple product with a placeholder name "B2002" and a model number of "TBD." MacRumors was alerted to the listing by health and fitness tech website MyHealthyApple. The product is filed under the "personal computer" category, which Apple has used for previous Mac and iPad listings in the database, so it is hard to pinpoint...

Apple Releases First macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 Beta to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday October 28, 2020 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today seeded a new macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 beta to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta replacing the existing macOS Big Sur 11 beta 10 update that was released two weeks ago. The macOS Big Sur beta can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center and once the appropriate profile is installed, subsequent betas will be available through the Software Update mechanism in...

iPhone 12 Models Might Support Reverse Charging of Future Apple Accessories According to FCC Filing

Tuesday October 27, 2020 6:25 pm PDT by
iPhone 12 models could have an inactive wireless charging feature for accessories, according to an FCC filing discovered by VentureBeat's Jeremy Horwitz. In the filing, Apple said that 2020 iPhones support a wireless charging function that will seemingly be enabled for at least one future Apple accessory:In addition to being able to be charged by a desktop WPT charger (puck), 2020 iPhones...