Rapid advances in technology mean that the ‘connected’ home isn’t just something for the future, it’s already with us.
It’s now possible to turn your heating on while still at work, watch what’s happening in the garden from a beach in Spain and start music playing by simply speaking aloud from the comfort of your own sofa. But how many homes are actually set up so that they can be controlled in ways unimaginable only a decade or so ago?
Nearly a third of households use a home hub
Latest research from insurer Policy Expert shows that many households are well on the way to being fully connected, with a large majority using home-related ‘smart’ gadgets of some sort.
The figures show that one-in-three householders (32%) use a home hub of some sort, such as Amazon Echo, Apple TV or Google Home. The ‘hub’ is the gizmo that allows smart household items, such as surveillance cameras, speakers and thermostats, to be controlled remotely from just one control system and to ‘speak’ to each other.
As the vast majority own a smartphone (85%) this will almost certainly be via an app downloaded onto their phone.
Many common household items now ‘smart’
Many items found in the home are now made to be ‘smart’ so that they can be controlled and connected to an app and/or home hub, and this is reflected in the numbers who own such items.
The most commonly owned smart device found in the home is the smart TV, with nearly two-thirds (57%) having at least one.
Next come smart meters (27%), which send meter readings direct to energy providers.
Heating devices which can usefully be manipulated while away from a property, such as Nest and Hive Heating, are the next, being used by one-in-eight (13%).
Being able to select music and choose favourite songs and albums makes smart speakers the fourth most common (15%) smart device in the home.
Fifth comes health and fitness gadgets, used by one-in-ten (10%).
Smart plugs, used by just over one-in-twelve (8%), and lighting, by similar numbers (7%), so you can dim or turn off lights remotely, are the next most popular.
Smart security, kitchen and garden appliances
Security is a growing area of interest when it comes to smart devices and one-in-twenty (5%) can now monitor their homes remotely to some degree, or at least benefit from technology which reacts to intruders when they’re not home.
Also on the list, but used by a small but not insignificant minority, are kitchen appliances such as smart fridges and smart food scales.
Smart vacuums, doorbells, outdoor devices such as lawnmowers and sprinklers, locks and smoke alarms are also on the list and used by a relatively small number of households.
One-in-four without smart home devices
There are still some Luddite hold-outs however, flying the flag for the old-ways with nearly one-in-four (24%) not owing a smart home device of any sort.
Number of smart items owned per household
The number of smart, connected gizmos owned per household is still not huge and most commonly only one or two (33%) while just over one-in-four (27%) have three or four.
A perhaps more tech-savvy one-in-seven (14%) own five or six, with one-in-eleven (9%) having between seven and ten.
Spending on smart devices
Spending on creating a connected home isn’t cheap and one-in-eleven (9%) have splashed out between £1,001 and £1,500 on doing so.
A few more have spent £751 to £1,000 (12%), and similar numbers have spent £501 to £750.
Others have spent between £251 and £500 (16%) and £101 to £250 (10%).
One-in-eight up to £3,000, one-in-four £100 or less
A relatively large number of households have gone for the technology big time, with around one-in-eight (13%) throwing anywhere between £1,501 and £3,000 at creating a smart home.
Some (4%) have even shelled out anywhere between £3,001 and £5,000!
There are still plenty for whom it’s clearly not that much of a priority however, with nearly one-in-four (23%) spending £100 or less.
Policy Expert is an insurance provider and broker, dedicated to helping customers find the insurance policy that’s right for them. Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, and we’re driven by a desire to help you find not only the best value insurance, but the right insurance for your individual needs. For more information, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit www.policyexpert.co.uk/contact for more ways to reach us.
Published 19 June 2019