Are You Interested in Smart Home Technology?

Today I want to post a question. And I would love your feedback, either here on the blog, or on my social media.

Are you interested in purchasing and using smart home technology now or in the near future?

By smart home technology I mean anything that creates a more digital home. So that could be fibre broadband, smart wireless lighting, an Amazon Echo device, or Google Home, digitally controlled heating system, a smart security system and so on.

It is, apparently the age of the connected home, so the media would tell us. But is it really?

The latest Smart Homes Survey from Barclays Mortgages reveals that fewer people are interested in smart home technology than 2 years ago, with only 22% of people surveyed saying they understand what smart home technology is, compared to 30% in 2015.

How many ‘Smart’ devices do you own?

I have fibre broadband, an Amazon Echo, smart lighting and a device to monitor water and flooding. Some of these items I’ve bought myself, and some I’ve been given through the blog. I’ve also had digitally controlled heating in the past but it’s not up and running right now.

How many smart devices do you own, and are they different to mine?

The Barclays report shows that uptake of smart devices is surprisingly low, with just over 1 in 10 (13%) of homeowners claiming to currently use smart technology in their homes.

So why aren’t we getting on board with this new way of living?

What are the perceived risks?

The main ‘issue’ cited by those surveyed is the security risk. The fear is that using these devices, puts our privacy and personal information at greater risk. Around 63% of those asked were concerned about cyber crime related to smart home devices, and of course the media has perpetuated this with reports of issues with smart kettles, smart security devices and more.

I can see how this happens. We are told, time and time again to keep our data secure, hearing horror stories from those who have had stolen identities and those who have lost personal information in banking hacks. It’s a very real problem. And one which many people don’t understand, so the easiest way forward is to avoid any potential risks. Smart home technology, I suspect is seen as one such risk. A big one.

After all, we’ve all heard how the Amazon Echo device ‘listens’ to your conversations for 30 minutes after you’ve activated it, right? True or not, it’s rumours like this that fuel our fear, turning us off the digital smart home.

What are the implications?

I must admit I was surprised to read the findings from the Barclays Mortgages survey. Even with regards to solar panels, one of the most popular home technologies amongst UK, only 12% of those surveyed said they would be willing to pay for their installation, even though 30% would welcome them.

So where is this going? Does it mean the development of smart technology for the home will eventually stall? Or will we become savvy enough to minimise the security risks, and enjoy the benefits to the way we live our lives?

Perhaps it just takes time. People need better understanding of how to use the technology and how it can improve their lives. They need to understand how to make their homes more secure to fight against cyber crime. And understand how simple that really is.

Keeping software up to date, installing security software, strengthening passwords, using a password manager (I use KeePass) and changing your network name are all ways to help minimise the threat of a security attack on your home.

But what do you think? Remember at the beginning of this post I asked a question:-

Are you interested in purchasing and using smart home technology now or in the near future?

I would love to know the answer.

 

Images: Smart Home || Home Technology via Shutterstock 

Collaborative post

 

9 Comments

  1. September 15, 2017 / 9:43 am

    For me, it’s the initial set up. There’s always a glitch somewhere. Then software updates… in the end some of the technology seems overkill to me. And generally, people are skint. So smart home tech isn’t at the top of most people’s lists when it comes to maintaining or updating their homes. Hope that helps!?

    • September 15, 2017 / 1:14 pm

      Completely get that Karen, thanks for your thoughts x

  2. September 15, 2017 / 10:11 am

    Yeah. That’s my dream. I am so in love with technology and I also hope that I will own a smart house in near future.

  3. September 15, 2017 / 11:23 am

    I don’t think I have any! I would, however, be interested in purchasing some in the future. I’d love solar panels and the device to monitor water and flooding sounds valuable. Interesting post.

    • September 15, 2017 / 1:15 pm

      Thanks. That’s really interesting, I’m keen on solar panels too.

  4. September 15, 2017 / 3:49 pm

    I am interested but those things I’ve tried so far always had so many problems I gave up on them. As Karen says – the software updates come thick and fast and sometimes don’t always work. I’m sure that the technology will catch up eventually and just like our mobile phones we’ll wonder how we managed without them. For now, I’ll just watch and wait I think.

  5. Arabella Bazley
    September 16, 2017 / 8:11 am

    I’m interested in getting an Amazon Echo or Alexa or whatever the options are but coming from decades of disappointing voice controlled mobiles and computer software I still need convincing it will really work. My brother has one and raves about it but I wonder just how much “programming” you have to do to get it to “play radio one” when you say it!

  6. September 17, 2017 / 6:28 pm

    We’ve had solar panels for 6 years now, which we paid for. Love getting a bank credit every quarter for the electricity we’ve generated.
    As for all the rest of the smart technology – it seems such a faff. And with a broadband speed of less than 3mbs, it ain’t coming to us any time soon!

  7. September 20, 2017 / 9:52 am

    I have a smart TV that’s connected to the internet in some impossibly complicated set up! Good job the husband is a geek! That’s all I need. I don’t need Alexa or Echo, don’t think I want something constantly listening to me in my home! And I certainly don’t need a fridge that tells me when I need more milk! It’s seems a little excessive, and if it’s easy for hackers to get into I don’t think I want them in my home! No wonder people are turning away from it! Home should be comfortable and not more gadgets means more ugly things on display 🙂

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