Smart home technology is expected to reduce the cost of home insurance and household bills but new research suggests that the UK has deep concerns about the impending ‘smart home revolution’.
Price comparison website MoneySuperMarket polled over 2,000 people to get the nation’s opinions on smart home technology and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
It found that 76 per cent of Brits are ‘fearful’ of the smart homes concept, with unapproved data collection cited as their greatest worry. Other concerns include the technology being hacked by criminals (51 per cent), being made unusable by a virus (43 per cent) and recording you without your knowledge (42 per cent).
The research found that 77 per cent had heard of a ‘connected’ home but only 6 per cent claimed to know a lot about smart home. The most popular gadget was a smart TV, owned by 30 per cent of those surveyed, followed by a smart energy meter, owned by 16 per cent.
Dan Plant, editor-in-chief at MoneySuperMarket, said: “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.”
Plant stressed that 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,” he added.
Despite public concern, 58 per cent of those surveyed said they would buy a smart device if it helped them save money on their home insurance.
When asked what smart home gadget they would like to see invented, answers ranged from self-cleaning ovens (29 per cent), self-emptying bins (11 per cent) and self-pouring wine fridges (5 per cent), 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.