smart lock

Someone using a smart lock (Photo by Sebastian Scholz (Nuki) on Unsplash)

NEW YORK — Modernizing your home with smart technology might seem daunting to not-so-tech-savvy individuals. According to a new survey however, most people master their devices within a matter of days.

Have you ever received a smart home device as a gift? You’re in good company: over half of smart home consumers were gifted their first device and grew their collection from there. In a poll of 2,000 U.S. adults with smart devices in their homes — devices that are connected to the internet and can be used to control other things throughout the home or be used as digital assistants — found 54 percent had their first smart devices gifted or bought for them.

The most popular “first” devices people flocked to were either cameras (18%) or streaming devices (16%). In fact, 45 percent of people with at least one smart home device said they own a smart camera.  

Other popular devices likely to make an appearance in the home are speakers (40%), streaming devices (40%), doorbells (27%) and lights (24%).

Man using a smart thermostat on his tablet
(© Saklakova – stock.adobe.com)

Commissioned by Google Nest and conducted by OnePoll, the study also looked into the habits Americans have with their smart home devices. Half were found to interact with their devices at least once every day and 85 percent said they were experts with their devices within a week of getting them set up.

Smart home habits by generation

The fastest adopters of smart home tech were found to be baby boomers — 66 percent said they started using their smart home devices daily “straight away.” The slowest adopters: Gen Z, where 46 percent surprisingly said it takes them at least four days to get acclimated to their devices.

However, Gen Z was likely to have the least amount of opposition to owning smart home devices (63%), while millennials had the most amount of initial opposition (25%).

“When people think of smart homes, many think these devices are for a really technical homeowner,” says Director of Product at Google Nest Karen Yao, in a statement. “In reality, with new smart home protocols like Matter, smart homes are more customizable and require less analysis to determine the best starting place or ecosystem for you. People can pair any of their Matter-enabled devices together to make a home that is more integrated and helpful than ever before.”

Over a third (37%) claimed a sense of confidence in their smart home expertise and 41 percent agreed having a “smart” home can only be achieved by knowing how to use them to automate their home.

Just over half (51%) of those surveyed said they’d tried their hand at setting up automations and routines throughout their homes, where their devices can handle basic tasks — like turning lights on or off or playing music — without needing human input. 

The most popular routines respondents were proud of were bedtime routines (22%), morning routines (17%) and security-related routines (15%).

Yet there were still plenty who felt hesitant about using their devices. Over a third (34%) said they’d be more likely to automate more of their homes if they understood the benefits of home automation in the first place. 

Another 27 percent said they’d be more inclined to use their devices if they could learn more about how to best use them.

“Getting started is always the hardest step. There are a lot of decisions, like what to buy and how to set it up,” explains Yao. “I got my start by asking friends and family members for their recommendations on devices and helpful automations/routines. These devices can offer so much creative and practical use. As a working mom, I can tell you they’re lifesavers when you need hands free help in your home.”

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 Americans who own at least one smart home device was commissioned by Google Nest between December 1 and December 6, 2022. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

About Sophia Naughton

Meet StudyFinds' Associate Editor, Sophia Naughton. Sophia graduated Magna Cum Laude from Towson University with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication directly focused in journalism and advertising. She is also a freelance writer for Baltimore Magazine. Outside of writing, her best buddy is her spotted Pit Bull, Terrance.

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