Commentary

Consumer Screen Time Increases; Screenless Smart Speakers Unfazed

Smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home are in one of the hottest IoT product categories in the market, but their ultimate role within the smart home is still evolving.

While most smart speakers don’t have screens, consumers are spending nearly half of their waking hours looking at screens, according to one survey.

The majority (79%) of consumers say their screen time has increased over the last five years, with 41% saying it has increased a lot, in the survey of 2,000 U.S. adults conducted by OnePoll for CooperVision.

The TV screen is the most looked at (91%), followed by smartphone (74%), laptop (73%), DVD player (64%), desktop computer (56%), tablet (46%), video game console (42%) and MP3 player (26%).

However, consumers are finding time to use their smart speakers for a range of things, even without screens.

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Top uses of smart speakers fall into the categories of entertainment and information, according to Gartner.

The leading Alexa skills are games (22%), followed by music (13%), education (11%), lifestyle (11%), humor (5%), productivity (5%), sports (4%), business and finance (3%), health and fitness (3%), news (3%), smart home (3%) and weather (3%).

Some $12 billion worth of smart speakers will be sold this year, growing to $28 billion in four years, according to IDC.

Three out of four consumers say they spend too much time looking at a screen, according to the CooperVision survey. Amazon Alexa and Google Home are just waiting for some of that time to migrate to their smart speakers. No screen required.

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