TechUK study finds increase in connected device ownership

A prominent finding of the study, which was based on research by Growth from Knowledge (GfK) of 1,000 UK consumers, was that the ownership of 3 or more connected devices has increased from 35 per cent in 2017 to 44 per cent in 2018.

Smart meters in particular have seen a growing trend, with large energy suppliers reporting a total of approximately 11 million installations in 2018.

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Also, 74% of respondents said that they were familiar with smart devices; Smart home tech came out on top as the category that participants understood the most, followed by cloud computing and storage & wearables.

In regards to particular types of connected device owned, smart speakers and home assistants doubled since last year’s report.

However, the report did find some barriers that UK homeowners saw in regards to connected device installation, including perceived lack of value in comparison to cost (40%), privacy concerns (23%), and security concerns (16%).

Additionally, only 37% of surveyed homeowners said that the idea of connected devices installed in their homes appealed to them.

Matthew Evans, head of TechUK‘s IoT programme, said: “The Connected Home can deliver real productivity and cost savings to consumers, as well as that elusive prize of peace of mind.

“However, our report demonstrates that privacy and security concerns are real barriers to the adoption of connected home technologies.

“If industry is to deliver these benefits, then we need to work doubly hard to address these justified concerns and continue to demonstrate the value that these new products and services can deliver.”

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Connected homes, otherwise known as smart homes, involve various devices all connected to one network. This can make all devices more vulnerable to cyber attacks due to them all having the same login credentials.

As for the matter of privacy, connected devices have been reported as documented on search engines such as Shodan and Thingly, meaning that they can be identified by outsiders.

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.