"This reliance on smartphones to control and monitor the smart home is due, in part, to app compatibility, as nearly all home automation devices have an iPhone or Android app," said John Buffone, NPD's executive director, Connected Intelligence. "As apps and devices become more intuitive, voice recognition - and thus, voice control - will begin to play a more prominent role in the further development of the smart home."
NPD says home automation sales are up 41% year-over-year in 2015 vs. 2014. The research house tracks systems controllers such as thermostats, and also smart capabilities across technologies such as power, sensors, lighting, security/monitoring, locks, and kits.
In addition to wanting compatibility, consumers also desire convenience, evidenced by the increased usage of voice commands in the smart home market; that number is expected to increase as the majority of smart home product owners have indicated their desire to better integrate speech recognition technology throughout their homes. Rising to meet consumer demand is a new product set that showcases the functionality of voice command technology, such as the Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Echo, which leverages voice controls to turn on a Phillips Hue bulb or change the temperature settings on an Ecobee thermostat.