Smart Home has significant growth opportunities in 2016. While consumers are losing interest in Tablets and Laptops, which saw big drops in both buzz and delight from March 2015- March 2016, Smart Home and Wearables are maturing both in user experience and demand. Though Smartphone buzz increased, the market saw growth slow significantly in recent months, with users expressing less satisfaction.
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Connectivity is an important facet of creating a smart home. Discussion of connectivity in consumer reviews for Smart Home devices consistently makes up about 30 percent of feedback. WiFi is top of mind for users when it comes to Smart Home device connectivity, with the most mentions of WiFi, followed distantly by talk of Routers, ZWave and Bluetooth.
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The intersection of fashion and wearable technology has been gaining momentum for a while now. While wearables are traditionally useful due to their embedded sensors and corresponding apps, most people will only actually wear them if they like the way they look. A fashionable evolution has been underway since the initial popularity of fitness bands, as Pebble’s watch become round, Fitbit turned sleek with the Alta, and the style of the Apple Watch can be customized with seemingly endless permutations of band and face combinations.
This week, wearable technology made a splash at one of fashion’s biggest events: the Met Gala. This year’s exhibition theme was “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology,” and the Met Gala was top of mind in the Wearables market, with #metgala snagging the spot of the fourth most popular hashtag used in the days surrounding the event. Some stars flaunted wearable technology strictly in pursuit of fashion. Supermodel Karolina Kurkova shared her #cognitivedress, (made with the help of IBM) on Twitter, and sparked a great amount of interest in the wearables market discussion.
Sorry Siri, but Alexa has remained the most popular AI in consumer reviews of Smart Home devices. As the Smart Home market continues to develop and improve, the need for simple communication and control intensifies. In February 2016, we reported that Amazon was winning the battle for Smart Home consumer delight with their Echo smart speaker turned Smart Home hub. Since then, Amazon introduced two more Alexa enabled devices (the Dot and Tap) and has been improving the capabilities of the Alexa to allow users to control an ever expanding list of connected devices with Amazon’s AI. Recently, Smart Home consumers are discussing Amazon Echo and Alexa far more than voice control solutions from Apple, Google, and Microsoft; as shown in the funnel below.