Smart speakers begin to invade users' homes, although a recent market investigation reveals that, in reality, only 6% of users use them to control connected devices in the home.
The IHS Markit study found that smart speakers are mostly used to answer questions or to listen to news or weather conditions. Even listening to music, which represents one of the main features of these peripherals, actually only comes in third place. Even for HomoPod the music does not change: listening to music tracks on the third step of the podium.
However, the same report highlights how the situation is likely to change in the short term. This is because smart home accessories are growing rapidly, and it is easy to think that users will soon start to use smart speakers for their control. Among these, the category that will be used most probably, that of alarm and security systems, which can often be armed and disarmed by voice command.
Other important categories for voice controlled home automation are thermostats and locks for doors. It is interesting to note that insurance could play an important role in the growth of these home devices, for example by offering discounts on the premium to be paid in case the user equips his home with smart devices for safety.
However, IHS Markit estimates that by the end of 2018, more than 1 million home insurance policies across North America will include at least one connected home device, such as sensors for detecting water leaks.
In addition, by the end of this year, the study estimates that there will be around 450,000 smart speakers connected to insurance companies. Obviously, the study does not touch our borders closely, but was conducted between the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and Brazil, and involved 937 owners of smart speakers.