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Smart home tech now owned by almost a quarter of Britons

The popularity of smart home devices in the UK such as those powered by Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant is rising fast, according to new research by YouGov.

The firm’s Smart Homes 2018 Report reveals that almost a quarter of Britons (23 per cent) now own a least one smart device for the home, with just under one in 10 (8 per cent) owning two or more.

Smart speakers remain the most popular type of device - which also includes connected lighting, security systems and thermostats. Both are powered by AI assistants that can answer queries as well as control other internet-connected appliances around the home.

Such has been the success of Google and Amazon’s devices that Apple has since entered the market - launching the Siri-enabled HomePod earlier this year. Yesterday Samsung revealed a Galaxy Home speaker that will come equipped with its Bixby voice assistant which has been included in its smartphone line up in recent years.

Russell Feldman, YouGov’s director of technology research, said: “Ownership numbers are impressive, for this point in the product cycle. The key is to get people buying their first device. Once they do so, they are much more likely to go on and add to their smart home collection.

“This means that the smart home industry has two areas of growth that may require different strategies - existing entrants to the market, and those from outside. Having said that, many people are either suspicious or don’t see the need for the devices. To truly initiate a smart home revolution, prospective customers need not only to be convinced of the capabilities of the technology, but why they need it and how it can help them.”

The report found that 56 per cent of non-smart device owners did not see the need for the virtual assistants housed in many of them, and even smart device owners agreed - with 54 per cent of them agreeing with that sentiment.

Some also admitted fears over security, with 39 per cent of those surveyed who do not yet own a smart home device saying they feared such devices could be hacked.

YouGov surveyed 3,920 people online between May 21 and 22, 2018.

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