Residents in Birmingham are among the highest in the UK for smart appliance usage, according to new figures. Residents of Leeds and Cornwall follow just behind. These figures have been released as part of a survey that reveals just how fast the population of the UK is moving forward technologically at home.
This month, for example, almost a sixth of UK smart speaker owners will eschew the TV weather reports and their smartphone weather apps to ask their smart assistant for local weather reports instead, reveals smartphone company e2save.
And, as if we needed any more proof, just look at Amazon's Christmas 2018 best seller: the company’s own mini smart speaker, the Echo Dot. Compare that with Christmas 2015's best seller, Adele’s 25 album, and you'll see how far we've come with smart home tech.
Fortuna Burke, founder of It Really Works Vitamins and smart home tech fan, comments, 'Smart tech appliances really do make life much easier – to the extent that I’ve started completely relying on smart tech in my house. The only thing we don’t yet have are smart curtains.'
Smart curtain tracks are of course just one of many voice-controlled smart home buys that we're beginning to embrace with enthusiasm; in fact, evidence shows that UK homeowners are increasingly relying on smart, hands-free tech features to switch on everything from lights and heating to the kettle.
The best – and most popular – smart home gadgets don't just give users smart phone-controlled, hands-free access, they allow us to monitor our homes from afar – think the Nest Learning Thermostat, for example. Marketeer Sarah Barnes has recently started using a smart thermostat so she can control her heating on the go. 'We used to always forget to time our heating to come on when we got home,' says Sarah. 'Now, we can just control the heating from our devices.'
In terms of 'What’s next?', over 50 per cent of Brits think that AI is the future for our homes. For Wasim Bux, product manager at insurance company iG04, developments in home security will come first. 'Some smart home footage can already be accessed without Wi-Fi,' he says. 'I believe there will soon be a large demand for products that can all work without being connected to the internet.'
Despite the fact that smart home tech is still in its infancy, the fact remains that over a third of smart tech users find using a virtual assistant saves them time. 'Who knows? Maybe soon we’ll have robots in our homes,' said e2save’s Joe Linnington. We've got news for Joe. We already do.