Voice control technology continues to gain traction among users of consumer electronics devices worldwide. New research from Parks Associates found strong interest in smart home voice control. According to the new market data, 55 percent of U.S. broadband households want to use their voice to control their smart home and entertainment devices.

The high positive response rate was particularly notable among those households where smart light bulbs, programmable thermostats, smart smoke or carbon monoxide detectors and smart garage door openers are in use, according to Parks Associates’ “360 View: Residential Security & Smart Home” report.

Interest in Smart Home Voice Control
Generally speaking, U.S. broadband household members tend not to distinguish or view smart, connected home entertainment, security and control devices as discrete, individual devices, according to Parks’ Senior Director of Research Brett Sappington.

“Many of the consumers who own or intend to purchase a smart home device want these smart home capabilities accessible through their entertainment devices…They expect connected products to work together.

“Many of the consumers who own smart light bulbs, thermostats, smoke detectors, and garage door openers find it appealing to control such devices through their entertainment systems, including automated voice assistant products like the Amazon Echo and Google Home.”

Privacy continues to reside at the forefront of smart home and entertainment device users’ minds. Two-thirds of smart home product owners that Parks surveyed rated safety and security notifications “appealing.”

Security concerns lessen if consumers are given greater control of their personal data. Privacy concerns drop to 17 percent when that’s the case, Parks found.

“Consumer concerns about hackers shouldn’t inhibit market growth,” said Glenn Hower, Senior Analyst, Parks Associates, in a press release. “Although privacy concerns are widespread, providing simple, configurable, consumer-controlled rules for data use will go a long way to mitigate privacy concerns and provide consumers with peace of mind.”

U.S. households have been taking to digital voice assistants faster than they typically adopt new consumer electronics, according to market research that Parks released in late March. Voice assistant penetration rose from 5% of U.S. broadband households in 4Q 2015 to 12% in 4Q 2016, according to the report.

Fast growing consumer uptake and use of digital smart home voice assistants, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, is fueling a rush to app development and market introductions on the part of vendors, researchers noted.

In January, Comcast announced a range of sophisticated capabilities for the Comcast Wi-Fi gateway, including voice control, user metrics and the ability to create rules and schedules, such as a bedtime mode that prevents Wi-Fi use during certain hours. End user data such as information about Wi-Fi devices on the user’s home network, as well as customized settings, are stored in the cloud.