Important change detected in the deployment of smart home technology

In the past year or so, companies have adapted to post-pandemic hybrid work, with knowledge workers gradually returning to the office after working almost exclusively from home for many months, during which time they were key to driving a increase in sales of smart home devices. a study has revealed.

the Plume IQ Smart Home Market Report from the provider of personalized communications services, which recently signed agreements with leading service providers such as Virgin Media, analyzed anonymized and aggregated data from a representative sample of the 41 million homes managed by the Plume Cloud in the US, Europe and Japan, comparing the periods from January to June 2021 with that from January to June 2022.

One of the key trends revealed was that home tech users’ growing appetite for Internet of Things (IoT) and smart home technologies shows no signs of slowing down. The study found that globally, the average number of connected devices per household stood at 17.1 at the end of June 2022, up 10% compared to the same period a year earlier.

Europe showed the biggest change, with the average number of connected devices per Plume household increasing by 13% to 17.4. Plume-powered homes in the US were found to have the highest penetration of connected devices to date, averaging 20.2 per home.

With up to 10% more devices in Plume-enabled households, there was an upward trend (11%) in data consumption on the Plume Cloud. However, the largest decrease in data consumption was seen in sports bikes, down 23%, likely reflecting a change in consumer behaviour, with people returning to the office and exercising outdoors or in the gym as they adjust to the post-pandemic world. hybrid job.

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“The Plume data reflects two interesting periods: the first half of 2021, when consumers were gradually emerging from the pandemic restrictions that had kept them confined to their homes, and the first half of 2022, when people began to return to the world. . Despite the radically different circumstances, it is clear that smart homes and IoT devices remain very important to our connected lifestyles,” said Todd Grantham, Plume’s chief marketing officer, commenting on the research.

In addition to the large growth in device volumes, the study also found an increase in device types. Smartphones remain the most popular device in Plume-enabled households, averaging more than six per household across all locations, including “guest” devices that can access the network.

According to the Plume Brand Index, which measures the level of loyalty of smart home users, Apple products dominated device brand loyalty, with “presence” (defined as one or more devices of the same brand ) in more households and in households that Plume considers to be “brand-dedicated” (i.e., five or more devices of the same brand) or “brand-obsessed” (with 10 or more devices of the same brand).

In terms of percentage change over the two periods, Plume noted that there have been stronger gains in the “devotion” and “obsession” categories. Apple saw a 24% increase in households with 10 or more devices, and Samsung and Amazon followed suit with 17% and 18% respectively, illustrating, Plume said, the comparative strength of the iOS device ecosystem.

Another key trend identified by Plume was the growth in the average number of cyberthreats blocked. The study found that globally, the average number of cyber threats Plume had blocked increased significantly (51%) during the first half of the year. The category of threats that grew the most was botnets, with blocked threats increasing by 84%, followed by malware with a 58% increase, and spyware and adware with a 40% growth. Plume speculated that these patterns may be the result of the conflict in Ukraine.

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