The promise of smart home technology is to usher in a new era of greater comfort by literally giving consumers the ability to control every aspect of their homes right from the palms of their hands. But as with any new connected technology, concerns over privacy and security, as well as a scarcity of compelling use cases, are hindering adoption.

Instead of a massive uptake in adoption, we’re seeing a steady increase in ownership over time, according to the latest ChangeWave survey of 2,665 primarily North American members. The survey, completed in April, focused on the latest trends in smart home technology usage and demand. Here are the findings.

 
 

CURRENT SMART HOME ADOPTION

 
 

Adoption of smart home technologies has shown sustained momentum for more than two years with no indications of a slowdown. If anything, we maybe be pickup the early signs of an acceleration, but it’s too soon to say with certainty. As the chart below shows, there has been a 9-point increase in adoption year-over-year, which is an improvement over the growth of the year prior.

 
 
Overall Smart Home Adoption
 
 

Looking at specific device types, smart speakers (23%; up 3-points) has extended its lead as the most used smart home device for the second straight survey. Interestingly, there is no change in the order of the top devices with smart thermostats (17%), smart cameras (15%), door/window sensors (12%) and smart plugs (11%) holding at second through fifth, respectively.

 
 
061919-ownership.PNG
 
 

Of note is the improvement in planned buying for smart cameras and smart doorbell cameras we saw in the previous survey, the impact of which is reflected in the roughly 2-point increases in ownership both are experiencing in the current survey.

While the majority (58%) of smart home owners only have one or two devices, that is down compared to previously and highlights a subtle shift towards the purchasing of additional smart homes devices by newer users. It also shows in general how much consumers who already own smart home devices are helping to drive the market by buying additional devices.

 
 
Number of Smart Home Devices Owned
 
 

PLANNED DEVICE BUYING

 
 

Overall planned smart home device purchasing has been remarkably stable for more than a year hovering right around one-third of respondents saying they plan to buy a smart home device in the future.

As we have seen previously, even without an acceleration in the rate of buying, this level is more than enough to ensure the continued expansion of smart home device usage.

An important aspect of purchasing plans is the number of devices consumers plan on buying. With two-thirds (66%) of buyers planning to buy more than one smart home device, it’s a good sign that most buyers will not just be “one-and-done”.

Additionally, more than half (54%) of current owners plan to buy additional devices in the future, supporting the premise that the market is being driven by this group of respondents.

Looking at the specific devices that respondents plan on buying, smart cameras (12%) and smart doorbell cameras (12%) remain neck and neck as the most in demand.

The rest of the top five also remain the same order with smart thermostats (11%), smart lighting (10%) and smart plugs (10%). The continued emphasis on smart cameras of different types shows security remains a top use case among smart home buyers.

 
 
Planned Smart Home Device Buying
 
 

Smart doorbell cameras and smart cameras are also among the top devices in terms of purchase urgency with 44% and 40% of their respective buyers planning to pick up the devices in the next six months.

 
 

REASONS FOR NOT BUYING

 
 

Despite the continued adoption of smart home technology, obstacles remain on the road to further usage. For the more that half of respondents who said they don’t plan on buying smart home devices in the future, we asked the reasons why.

Not interested in smart home devices (48%) is still the top reason for not buying, but slightly improved over our last survey.

Other top reasons are security/privacy concerns (40%) and smart home devices are not useful to me (25%).

 
 
Reasons for not buying
 
 

Since a lack of consumer interest remains evident in two of the top three reasons, it’s important for manufacturers help consumers better understand how these devices can be beneficial in their daily lives, with the hopes of ultimately motivating them to action.

Consumer security and privacy is a hot button topic across all types of connected devices and continues to be at the heart of why many consumers have trepidation towards plugging into new technologies too soon.

We asked all respondents a sperate question about their level of concern with the privacy and security of personal data collected by smart home devices and found almost half (49%) of respondents said they were very concerned.

When we look specifically at respondents who do not own and do not plan to buy smart home devices, that number jumps to 61%. Along with a lack of interest, this is the other obstacle where manufacturers have to proceed with caution and find ways to quell concerns and prove their devices are safe and secure.

On a side note, we also see an increase in the number of respondents who chose already own enough smart devices (9%; up 2-points). The break point appears to be three devices. Once smart home owners reach that level, around half (49%) say they have enough devices. This compares to 15% for those with one device and 27% for two devices.

 
 

SMART THERMOSTATS AND LIGHTING

 
 

The Smart thermostat market is dominated by two manufacturers: Nest (34%) and Honeywell (24%). Ecobee (14%) is the only other in double-digits.

 
 
Smart Thermostat Manufacturers
 
 

Looking at satisfaction, Ecobee (69%) has the most customers who are very satisfied. They are followed by Honeywell (61%) and Nest (59%).

Similarly, the smart lighting market is dominated by Philips (28%) and their Hue lightbulbs. TP-Link (9%) has jumped up to second but is only a fraction ahead of a logjam of four other competitors at 8%. With regards to satisfaction Philips stands at 43% very satisfied.