While 65% of smart speaker owners used their devices to ask questions, check weather, listen to news and play music, only 6% used them to control smart home devices, according to a recent report by IHS Markit, a global market research firm.
The research firm says that some smart speaker owners just don’t know their devices can do such things as controlling connected home gadgets, like smart lights or smart TVs.
“However, this category will continue to trend upward as more video-streaming devices come to rely on voice control, as security alarm systems adopt voice control to arm and disarm, and as more builders embed smart devices throughout new homes,” says Blake Kozak, the principal analyst in smart home field at IHS Markit, in a statement.
Kozak says that streaming devices such as the new Fire TV Cube and agnostic speakers like Sonos Beam will drive voice control use cases on connected devices.
Kozak also suggested that other voice assistants can follow the path of Amazon Echo Plus, which can directly control low-power wireless devices via ZigBee and Z-Wave protocols. This can streamline the process of connecting smart home devices and smart speakers.
Insurance companies will also play a role in educating consumers about connected devices, mostly about water leak detection, states the report.
IHS Markit estimated that by the end of 2018, there will be more than one million home policies across North America to include at least one connected home device – most likely water leaking sensor, flow detector or shutoff valve.
Also, there will be 450,000 smart speakers connected to insurance companies by the end of the year, says the research firm.
The survey found Amazon Alexa to be the most widely used voice assistant for controlling home devices, by a margin of 5% over Google Assistant. Among the respondents, 40% own an Alexa-enabled device, 23% have a Google Home speaker and 20% have both.
There were more than 900 smart home device makers offering 4,100 connected devices at the beginning of 2018, says the research firm.
IHS Markit conducted the survey in March and April of 2018. Respondents, living in the U.S., UK, Japan, Germany and Brazil, consist of 937 smart speaker owners.