A survey from Cadence Mortgage shows that Americans love smart technology, but they are also concerned about privacy and security.
How widespread is smart technology in American homes? In a survey of 900 people, 94 percent of Americans say they currently have at least one smart device in their home, and 1 in 5 have more than seven different smart devices.
The most popular smart devices for Americans are smart TVs (69 percent), smart speakers (45 percent), lights (32 percent), doorbells (29 percent), and smart thermostats (25 percent) . Also, 3 out of 5 use a ‘hub’ on their phone or tablet to control their home technology.
When it comes to a favorite voice assistant, the majority of Americans (55 percent) use Amazon’s Alexa. The next most popular assistant is Apple’s Siri, followed by Google Nest and Microsoft’s Cortana. More than a quarter of Americans (27 percent) use a voice assistant to control their smart technology at home.
Buying a smart version of your appliances or devices does not come cheap. On average, Americans have spent $1,172 on smart technology, but are willing to spend an average of $2,475. The most wanted smart tech devices are lights, followed by security cameras, smart thermostats, doorbells and blinds.
Why invest in these modern devices? Key reasons include safety and security, the ability to control the home remotely, and the convenience of smart technology.
Despite the convenience, these devices can malfunction like any piece of technology. In fact, 40 percent say they have contacted customer service about their devices at least once. Security cameras are the most common device requiring customer service assistance, followed by smart TVs.
While Americans want smart technology in their home for safety and security, having the devices is also a concern. Almost 3 in 4 people are concerned about their home devices eavesdropping on them. Americans are also concerned about privacy, security, data collection by companies, and hacking.
What high-tech smart device are Americans most concerned about? About 62 percent worry about their cameras being hacked, followed by Alexa assistants (34 percent), and locks (23 percent). While 45 percent feel safer because of their smart technology, 41 percent use their cameras to check on their home when no one is there.
For respondents with smart cameras and doorbells, some of the things they’ve caught on camera include burglaries and package thefts outside their homes.
Despite the frustrations and concerns, 60 percent say smart technology has a positive impact on their lives; In fact, 2 out of 5 Americans would never go back to living in a home without a smart tech spot. When asked which devices they couldn’t live without, 27 percent say security cameras, 22 percent say smart TVs, 14 percent say doorbells, 13 percent say lights, and 12 percent say their sound system.
Survey respondents say smart technology makes tedious tasks a little easier. 39 percent believe smart vacuums keep the home cleaner than human-operated ones, 50 percent think smart kitchen appliances make cooking meals easier, and 36 percent say they help you eat healthier.
Smart technology exists to make life easier, but 3 out of 4 Americans think certain devices are unnecessary. The most unnecessary smart appliances are toasters (59 percent), toilets (52 percent), grills (49 percent), refrigerators (34 percent), and exercise equipment (25 percent).