Are Smart Speakers the Key to the Smart Home?
With Amazon and Google having slashed the prices of their smart speakers, it doesn’t take a prophet to predict that voice-enabled speakers will feature prominently under Christmas trees in the United States and elsewhere this year. With prices starting as low as $29.99 for the entry-level Echo Dot, price is no longer an obstacle on voice assistants’ way to mainstream adoption.
According to a recent comScore report, smart speaker penetration among U.S. households has risen from 8 percent in June to 11 percent in October and is expected to reach 15 percent early next year. What’s interesting though, is the fact that smart speakers could turn out to be the long-missing key to broader adoption of other smart home products as well. As our chart, based on comScore findings, illustrates, smart speaker households are much more likely to own other smart devices such as smart lighting systems or smart thermostats.
While comScore concludes that “the smart speaker is the gateway device to enabling a smart home for many consumers”, it has to be noted that this is a classic chicken or egg problem insofar as there is no way to tell whether early adopters of other smart home equipment are more likely to have jumped on the smart assistant bandwagon early or whether buying a smart speaker has convinced many people to smarten up their entire homes.