Study Shows Integrating With Alexa and the Google Assistant Is Not a Complete Smart Home Strategy

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For device manufacturers and app developers interested in the connected home, there have been few trends watched as closely as the explosion of voice assistant-powered smart speakers. The runaway success of the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and now Homepod presents an attractive gateway for integrating your product into a wider smart home ecosystem.

Smart Phones Preferred Over Voice Assistants Two-to-One

But a new report from global market research firm GfK shows that building your company’s connected home strategy entirely on top of these voice assistants may be a risky move.

According to a study featuring over 1,000 participants, consumers are twice as likely (89%) to view their phones as smart home controllers over digital voice assistants (40%). In fact, consumers are becoming more likely to reach for their phones to control smart home products and services over time — nine-in-ten today, up from seven-in-ten in 2015.

So what does this mean for your connected home strategy?

 
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Smartphones Are The Remote Controls For Our Lives

The GfK report shows that despite the proliferation of voice assistants in homes, smartphones are still the remote controls for our lives. Younger generations especially (Millennials and Gen Z) are glued to their phones 24/7.

Digital voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant are providing a new interface for home control, but they are far from toppling the mobile phone. In fact it seems like phones have only become more integrated in consumers’ lives since the advent of smart speakers — not less.

This is critically important research to consider when developing your company’s interoperability strategy for the connected home. Whether you’re an established device manufacturer, automaker, internet service provider, financial services company, or just an innovative app developer, figuring out how to integrate your products into the greater smart home ecosystem over the next 5-10 years is critically important.

 
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Building a Flexible Connected Home Strategy

What the GfK study reveals for every company looking to integrate with the smart home is that voice assistants are not the silver bullet some want them to be.

Being able to integrate with the smart home through Alexa and the Google Assistant is important, but it’s not the whole picture. According to the GfK report, even in homes with smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home consumers are more likely to reach for their phones to access smart home services.

Your company’s connected home strategy needs to be built with this type of flexibility in mind. Whether your customers are interfacing with smart speakers, their smartphones, or the next blockbuster device to come along, they should receive the same seamless smart home experience across every platform.

 

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