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The Connected Home - UK - May 2016

“The smartphone is consumers’ preferred control mechanism for the connected home. However, current platform fragmentation means that consumers may need several different apps to control all of their connected home devices. Android and iOS continue to dominate the smartphone OS market in the UK, holding a combined 85% share of users. Consumer familiarity with Google and Apple and their preference for smartphones as the control mechanism for the smart homes means that their activity is likely to be key to market development, particularly if they are at the centre of more joined-up ecosystems.”
– Matt King, Head of Leisure, Tourism, Technology and Media Research

This report discusses the following key topics:

  • Addressing security concerns
  • Making the most of data

The idea of a connected, automated home has been around for years, but we are now at the stage where enough major companies and brands are establishing themselves on the edge of the mainstream market, with products at affordable price points, that it can really be considered something approaching a mass-market proposition. The start of 2016 has seen companies like Google and Samsung make major strides in this direction, the former with the launch of its Google Home in-home personal assistant and the latter embedding IoT Hub technology in all of its 2016 Samsung Smart TVs. While ownership of products like smart thermostats remains fairly low, Mintel’s consumer research shows that interest in future purchases is high, at nearly four in ten consumers, for most of these types of products.

This Report looks at the growing range of connected devices and appliances that consumers have in their homes. It also analyses how these devices are becoming increasingly able to send and receive commands to and from each other (sometimes referred to as ‘talking together’), via either manual instruction or automated means.

This is often referred to as ‘home automation’, the idea of an online system being able to control the functionality of several smart devices by either reacting to a set schedule, or from user input, which can sometimes be communicated from a remote location. This could be via a number of different protocols, including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, among others.

In this Report the concept of the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) is another term used to describe the ever-increasing set of smart products that sit within a consumer’s connected ecosystem.

The connected home products included within the scope of Mintel’s consumer research for this Report are:

  • Smart TVs
  • Smart heating appliance/thermostats (eg Hive, Nest)
  • Smart smoke detectors (eg Nest)
  • Smart door locking systems
  • Smart kitchen appliances (eg washing machines, fridges, kettles)
  • Smart surveillance cameras
  • Smart set-top box/streaming media devices (eg Sky+ box, Apple TV, Google Chromecast)
  • Smart audio speakers (eg Sonos Play, Amazon Echo).

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • IoT universe expands
              • Figure 1: Smartphone operating system usage, December 2015
            • Security remains a barrier
              • Key players
                • Major control mechanisms and emerging ecosystems
                  • Connected entertainment
                    • Competition heating up
                      • The consumer
                        • Smart entertainment devices the most established
                          • Figure 2: Ownership of and interest in smart devices, March 2016
                        • Half of consumers want to be better connected
                          • Figure 3: Interest in making home more connected, March 2016
                        • Secure, connected and informed
                          • Figure 4: Connected home features people are most interested in, March 2016
                        • Appetite for services that lead to savings
                          • Figure 5: General attitudes towards the connected home, March 2016
                        • What we think
                        • Issues and Insights

                          • Addressing security concerns
                            • The facts
                              • The implications
                                • Making the most of data
                                  • The facts
                                    • The implications
                                    • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                      • IoT universe expands
                                        • Control mechanisms
                                          • Establishing ecosystems
                                            • Broadband needs to get up to speed
                                              • Security remains a barrier
                                              • Market Drivers

                                                • IoT universe expands
                                                  • Home hubs and communication standards
                                                    • Smartphones the preferred control mechanism
                                                      • Figure 6: IF app screenshot, May 2016
                                                    • Establishing ecosystems
                                                      • Figure 7: Number of different internet-enabled devices per household, Q1 2015
                                                      • Figure 8: Smartphone operating system usage, December 2015
                                                    • Broadband must get up to speed
                                                      • Figure 9: Take-up of superfast broadband services (as a proportion of all connections), 2009-14
                                                    • Security concerns remain a barrier
                                                      • Products or services?
                                                      • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                        • Samsung looks for an early lead
                                                          • Google makes itself at Home
                                                            • Apple’s HomeKit lays the groundwork
                                                              • Amazon Echo leads the way in voice control
                                                                • Connected entertainment
                                                                  • Competition heating up
                                                                    • Beyond the essentials
                                                                    • Brand Activity and Innovation

                                                                      • Major control mechanisms and emerging ecosystems
                                                                        • Samsung looks for an early lead
                                                                          • Figure 10: SmartThings app
                                                                        • Google makes itself at Home
                                                                            • Figure 11: Google Home speaker
                                                                          • Apple’s HomeKit lays the groundwork – Is there more to come in 2016?
                                                                            • Amazon Echo leads the way in voice control
                                                                              • Figure 12: Alexa family
                                                                            • Connected entertainment
                                                                              • Other activity
                                                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                • Smart entertainment devices the most established
                                                                                  • Half of consumers want to be better connected
                                                                                    • Secure, connected and informed
                                                                                      • Reassurance needed about security
                                                                                        • Appetite for services that lead to savings
                                                                                          • Tech giants most trusted to manage the connected home but others may be better placed in future
                                                                                          • Connected Device Ownership

                                                                                            • Encouraging people to look beyond the obvious is a challenge…
                                                                                              • …but general interest in purchasing is high
                                                                                                • Getting a foot in the door
                                                                                                  • Figure 13: Ownership of and interest in smart devices, March 2016
                                                                                                • Doing it for the kids
                                                                                                • Interest in Connected Home Features

                                                                                                  • Half of consumers want to be better connected
                                                                                                    • Figure 14: Interest in making home more connected, March 2016
                                                                                                  • Security features look a safe bet
                                                                                                    • Connected and informed
                                                                                                      • Figure 15: Connected home features people are most interested in, March 2016
                                                                                                    • Connected heating and security appeal to over-55s, while younger consumers want compatibility
                                                                                                    • Security and Privacy Concerns

                                                                                                      • Reassurance needed about security
                                                                                                        • Figure 16: Attitudes towards security in a connected home, March 2016
                                                                                                      • Data protection concerns also need to be addressed
                                                                                                      • Attitudes towards the Connected Home

                                                                                                        • Heating looks a smart way into the market
                                                                                                          • People open to a fair exchange of data
                                                                                                            • Try before you buy
                                                                                                              • The smart home as a service
                                                                                                                • Figure 17: General attitudes towards the connected home, March 2016
                                                                                                            • Who Would People Trust to Run their Connected Home?

                                                                                                              • Tech giants most trusted now but others may be better placed in future
                                                                                                                • Figure 18: Companies people would trust to provide a smart hub for the connected home, March 2016
                                                                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                  • Consumer research methodology

                                                                                                                  Companies Covered

                                                                                                                  To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                  The Connected Home - UK - May 2016

                                                                                                                  £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)