Though still relatively minor in terms of overall penetration, home automation is catching on with consumers.
According to research from The NPD Group, 15% of American households with internet own a home automation device, up from 10% in April 2016. Dollar sales meanwhile, are up 43%, led by growth in security and monitoring devices, and strong gains in video doorbells (up 123%) and smart lighting (up 83%).
The gateway to home automation, it seems, is through voice-activated wireless speakers (of which ownership has tripled in the past year). More than a third (36%) of smart home device owners have a voice-activated speaker and more than half (57%) of Google Home owners said they bought their first home automation product after owning a speaker. (The same holds true for 48% of Amazon Echo owners.)
Not surprisingly, younger consumers are most likely to own voice-activated wireless speakers and a home automation device. However, 11% of consumers 35-54 have a voice-enabled speaker (up from 7% last year; ownership among those 55+ grew to 6% from 1% in 2016).
“The voice-enabled speaker market is expanding quickly,” said Ben Arnold, executive director and industry analyst for The NPD Group, in a statement. “As sales of these devices continue to grow, and more voice-enabled applications are developed, the use case for intelligent voice speakers, particularly as it relates to home automation devices, will continue to expand.”