Interest in smart home solutions in Germany continues to grow

The trend of recent years continues: more and more consumers in Germany are using smart home solutions. A representative survey by the German industry association Bitkom shows that more than one in four Germans already use smart home devices, while experts advise consumers to pay more attention to the wireless standards that are being used.

According to a representative survey by the industry association Bitkom, 41% of all Germans have installed at least one smart home application, meaning the positive trend of the last few years is continuing (2020: 37%; 2019: 31%). Intelligent lighting and smart lamps, which are already used in almost every third home (29%), are particularly popular, with a year-on-year growth of 6%. Security equipment is also in demand. 23% of all consumers already use smart video surveillance (2020: 16%), and one in five (21%) use an intelligent alarm system (2020: 18%). A growing number of Germans also take advantage of robotic lawn mowers (16%; 2020: 8%), while 13% own robot vacuum cleaners (2020: 9%).

“The devices of the different manufacturers are becoming increasingly compatible, so that they can be connected or controlled via a common platform,” said Bitkom managing director, Bernhard Rohleder. “Smart home applications make our lives more comfortable, safer and also more climate-friendly.” The latter applies in particular to smart radiators and thermostats, which 17% of all Germans have already installed. “The use of intelligent heating and air conditioning technology is particularly worthwhile for homeowners,” emphasised Rohleder.

When it comes to the reasons why smart home applications are being used, comfort and quality of life get the most mentions (78%). The aspects of security and energy efficiency also play an important role. 69% want to make their home safer, and 62% want to live more energy-efficiently.

Security concerns: international standards are key

The study also provides information on why many potential users continue to avoid smart home solutions. Among the respondents who are not interested in smart home applications, 37% said prices were still too high. 32% find it too complicated to operate the smart home solutions, and 29% said that the installation is too complex. The main reason, however, is that many people are still worried about attacks by hackers (41%). The fear of misuse of personal data is also a big factor (39%), while 32% have general privacy concerns.

“When it comes to smart home devices in particular, consumers shouldn't head to the bargain bin, but instead look for products that are certified in line with international standards. These standards make smart home applications extremely secure against external attacks,” explained Rohleder.

The ULE Alliance agrees. “In order to win the trust of consumers, smart home solutions must be secure and based on reliable standards,” added Ulrich Grote, chairman of the ULE Alliance. “To continue the positive trend of recent years, providers need to address consumer concerns and needs. As the Bitkom study clearly shows, the solutions should not only be easy to install and use and be compatible with each other but should also be protected as well as possible. This is precisely why the ULE standard is perfect for the smart home, also due to the protected frequencies. In addition, it is a European standard so that consumers can build a smart home without the usual, data-hungry suspects.” Vendors who already use the ULE wireless standard for their smart home solutions in Germany include Deutsche Telekom and the FRITZ!Box manufacturer AVM.

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