The global smart home market is expected to be worth $400bn by 2030, with Asia Pacific accounting for at least a quarter (25%) of the total, according to a new study that also identifies what APAC consumers want from devices like Amazon Alexa.

Demand is buoyant for voice-activated assistants and other smart-enabled home devices, but the question for international brands like Amazon, Apple, Google, Lenovo and others is how best to align their products with consumer expectations.

This is a subject that social listening firm Digimind explores in a new report, entitled The Future of Smart Homes in Asia Pacific: Insights from Social Media, which is based on insights gleaned from discussions on social media and online reviews.

According to the research, the most pressing consumer demand raised on social media in the region is for smart home brands to prioritise user privacy (37.8%), especially since last year’s Cambridge Analytica scandal heightened concerns.

Digimind found that consumers in Australia and Hong Kong were particularly vocal about privacy issues when the scandal involving Facebook erupted, and it warned many consumers cite potential loss of privacy as a reason not to adopt smart home technology.

Another important factor determining whether consumers are prepared to embrace smart home devices or not is, perhaps unsurprisingly, whether they work effectively and have voice-activated features adapted to local users (22.1%).

Digimind said that inaccuracy and the failure of smart speakers to understand voice commands in local English accents is a key cause of dissatisfaction and frustration in Asia Pacific, although it noted that Google Assistant’s addition of British and Australian accents has been well-received.

“With voice activation displaying limitations in processing local accents, this could mean an advantage for smart displays as a visual centric alternative for smart speakers in Asia Pacific and beyond,” the report said.

A quarter of consumers in the region (25.4%) also consider product integration to be an important factor when selecting a smart home device.

And this prompted Digimind to recommend that companies should make their products compatible with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, the two leading voice assistants, to get themselves noticed.

Sourced from Digimind; additional content by WARC staff