2016 predictions: Home IoT, digital personal assistants to take off?

Study smart home IoT Internet of Things growing among consumers
Credit: Comcast

Half of smartphone users have already used the IoT in their homes, while digital personal assistants like Apple's Siri are on the rise, Adobe said in a new report.

Many consumers are already using mobile devices to interact with their homes, according to Adobe.

The company's digital marketing and media arm said in its recently released Adobe Digital Trends Report that "51% of smartphone owners have already interacted with a home IoT device."

And not only have they used the IoT devices, they like them, according to Adobe's CMO publication.

IoT homes

Connected smoke detectors lead the pack, with Internet-enabled thermostats following, the survey found.

For the report, Adobe Digital Index surveyed 400 smartphone users and gathered data from "255 billion visits to branded websites, and an analysis of more than 20 million social engagements," CMO says.

Of the social networks Adobe studied, it saw words related to "joy, admiration, or anticipation" in 65% of those that mentioned smart home or IoT topics.

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Google's On Hub router was the most popular, with 130,000 social media mentions.

Amazon's Echo voice control media player followed, with 70,000. The Nest thermometer came in at 63,000 favorable mentions.

People liked Amazon's Dash, too. That's the button-like device that you can affix to, say, a washing machine for one-button-press ordering of laundry detergent or other domestic items from Amazon's website. It was the third most positively mentioned device in the study, with 63,000.

Traditional IoT devices, or those that have been available for a while, such as Belkin's WeMo smart switch, did not appear on Adobe's list. At least, it didn't show in the top nine products in terms of popular home IoT device social mentions.

IoT inroads

"People are really happy with how they're working," Joe Martin, a senior analyst at ADI, said of home IoT tech in general, according to CMO. "It's definitely making things easier."

Martin thinks large-screen smartphones are helping with it all too.

Digital personal assistants

The adaptation of the smartphone in digital life has also enabled a move towards automated browsing and search.

A third of smartphone owners in the U.S. indicated that they'd used a Siri-like "digital assistant in the past month," says CMO.

Facebook M

And anticipation is rampant for Facebook's upcoming competitor to Siri, Google Now, and Microsoft Cortana. It's apparently called Facebook M and it is highly anticipated among consumers, according to the social mentions collected by Adobe.

The anticipation was "four times the percentage of other digital assistants," CMO said.

The reason for this interest is related to M's apparent action element, whereby a search culminates in an actual purchase for the user, for example. That takes digital assistants one step further.

Fitness trackers

Fitness trackers are a flash-in-the-pan, Adobe thinks, going along with my hypothesis in a blog post last week that the entire wearable genre might simply be hype, despite some recent growth.

Adobe is a bit more positive than me, and reckons that while dedicated fitness trackers may be on the way out, smartwatches are still in the game.


Adobe's survey indicates that 37% of consumers are reporting that "they are likely to buy a smartwatch in the next six months."

But, in any case, consumers are getting used to devices being a part of their lives, what with smartphones entrenching themselves, and are going to need something to control the home too. Enter: Home IoT. And to interface with it all: Google Now and the rest.

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