As Indians 'smarten' their homes, voice-control is key, finds study

05th July 2022
As Indians  'smarten' their homes, voice-control  is key, finds study

Gurgaon, July 5 2022:  As the usage of smart home has increased across Indian households, almost 92% users say that voice-control has made it convenient for them to set up a smart home. This  is the key insight  in a study conducted by Techarc for Amazon India, to understand smart home adoption and usage trends in India.
The study collected inputs from over 1200 smart home users, residing across metro and non-metro cities.
Says Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst, Techarc:  “Among factors like increase in penetration of fixed broadband and need for automation in homes due to Covid-19 pandemic, the convenience of interacting with home appliances through voice has emerged as an essential factor driving smart home adoption. A smart home environment is effectively useful when all members in the family can interact, command and control appliances without the need to upskill or learn.”
Adds Parag Gupta, Director and Country Manager for Amazon Devices, India:“There are thousands of smart home devices compatible with Alexa across categories like bulbs, plugs, locks, cameras, ceiling fans, TVs, air conditioners, air purifiers, etc. ranging from Rs  500 to Rs 1,50,000. The wide selection from top brands in India have made it convenient for customers to get started on their smart home journey and experience the magic of hands-free control with Alexa.”
Key inferences from the smart home study
Mass adoption of smart home is a recent phenomenon:
  The smart home adoption in India is moving towards mainstream with more homes coming into the purview. Of all the study respondents, more than 90% have purchased their first smart home device in the last two years. While most of the high-value devices like TVs are purchased off-line, a majority on smart home appliances are purchased on online/ e-commerce websites.
Adoption of smart home is driven by the urge to try new technology: In general, users across metro & non-metro cities rank ‘to try new technology’ as a primary reason for adoption of smart home devices. However, when we look at different device categories, the subsequent reasons to purchase show an interesting trend. Smart speakers, smart TVs and smart lights are purchased more ‘to try new technology’; smart AC and washing machines because of their ‘energy-efficiency’; smart cameras and IR blasters for their ‘connectivity/ automation’; and smart ovens, smart vacuum, and smart air purifier because they ‘came across a good deal or discount.’
Family and Friends are the most popular sources of information about smart devices: Smart home users in India are most influenced by family and friends to know more about new devices, their features, and reviews. This medium of discovery is closely followed by advertisements on TV/ online, and social media mentions.
Smart home utility has expanded from entertainment to productivity: Smart TVs (73%) and smart speakers (45%) are the top two devices in a typical smart home configuration. However, the adoption of other devices that add to convenience, and productivity has also started to pick up. These include, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, security solutions and refrigerators.
‘Smartisation’ is inevitable for creating a sustainable brand: Many incumbent brands manufacturing home appliances such as TVs, fridge and washing machines have been able to maintain their position as the preferred choice for customers because of ‘smartisation’ of their range of appliances. Newer brands providing smart home appliances have an edge in categories such as smart lights, smart security, smart plugs and IR blasters because of their competitive pricing and features.
Key inference:
Smart homes give peace of mind and make technology inclusive.
  Many users install smart home devices for convenience, comfort and to monitor safety- security of their loved ones, including parents and children. Voice assistants enable all family members to engage with smart devices without any restrictions.
Link to full report , The Smart Homes of India (PDF) here