Survey: UK consumers wary of smart home products

Survey: UK consumers wary of smart home products

Survey: UK consumers wary of smart home products
August smart lock at work (Credit: August.com)

A MoneySuperMarket survey has found that UK consumers are worried about the data collected by connected devices and smart home technology.

Over three-quarters of UK consumers (76 percent) are concerned about the impact of connected devices in the home, according to a new survey. The research, carried out by price comparison website MoneySuperMarket, found that most people are worried about smart home devices collecting data without approval.

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Privacy and security

Among other concerns from UK consumers were the prospect of being hacked by criminals (51 percent), the fear of a device being rendered unusable by a virus (43 percent) and worries over being recorded without your knowledge (42 percent).

The survey found considerable awareness of IoT technology among UK buyers, with 77 percent having heard of a ‘connected’ home, but only six percent claimed to know ‘a lot’ about smart homes.

The most popular connected devices for consumers were smart TVs, owned by 30 percent of those surveyed, followed by a smart energy meter, owned by 16 percent.

Despite a level of trepidation, respondents were happy to look into the future and speculate about what was to come from the smart home sector. Among the smart devices consumers would like to see invented were self-cleaning ovens (29 percent), self-emptying bins (11 percent) and self-pouring wine fridges (five percent).

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Manufacturers need to instil confidence

Kevin Pratt, consumer affairs expert at MoneySuperMarket, said that smart technology promises to transform our homes by enhancing security, improving energy efficiency and generally making our domestic lives smoother and more efficient.

“However, many people are understandably anxious that the benefits will be countered by threats, such as hacking and loss of privacy,” he said.

“It’s up to the makers of smart devices and applications to reassure consumers that they are not putting themselves at risk. And it’s also vital that any cost savings that flow from adopting connected technology, such as reduced pay-outs for burglary claims, are passed on to customers in the form of lower home insurance premiums.”

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