Consumers wary of potential risks including hacking and unapproved data collection
The UK has deep concerns about the impending smart home revolution, despite the likely cost savings, according to a new study. Just over three quarters of Brits admitted to being ‘fearful’ of the smart homes concept, with unapproved data collection cited as the greatest worry, showed the study from MoneySuperMarket.
Other concerns include the technology being hacked by criminals (51%), being made unusable by a virus (43%), and recording you without your knowledge (42%).
The poll of over 2,000 people to get the nation’s opinions on smart home technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) found that while the majority (77%) of Brits had heard of a ‘connected’ home, only 6% claimed to know a lot about smart home technology. The most popular gadget was a smart TV, with 30% of Brits owning one, followed by a smart energy meter (16%).
However, when asked what smart home gadget they would like to see invented, Brits were both practical and imaginative. Answers ranged from self-cleaning ovens (29%), self-emptying bins (11%) and self-pouring wine fridges (5%), to smart dog walkers and self-emptying dishwashers. More outlandish suggestions included auto-spray devices that would deal with cold callers and robot dogs with the ability to do chores.
Despite public concern, the benefits of investing in smart home technology are likely to outweigh the fears. Smart home technology focused on home security and fire prevention benefits insurers as it reduces claims, with insurers then able to pass these savings on to consumers, claimed MoneySuperMarket. In line with this, 58% of Brits said they would buy a smart device if helped them save money on their home insurance.
Dan Plant, editor-in-chief at MoneySuperMarket, commented: “Smart technology promises to transform our homes by enhancing security, improving energy efficiency and generally making our domestic lives smoother and more efficient. However, many people are understandably anxious that the benefits will be countered by threats, such as hacking and loss of privacy.
“It’s up to the makers of smart devices and applications to reassure consumers that they are not putting themselves at risk. And it’s also vital that any cost savings that flow from adopting connected technology, such as reduced pay-outs for burglary claims, are passed on to customers in the form of lower home insurance premiums.”