Wise Living research reveals huge increase in smart tech searches

Research by Wise Living reports huge increase in smart tech searches – revealing Covid-19 impact on tech in homes.

Smart tech in the kitchen which, as reported by Wise Living, has increased in Google searches in 2021 | BTR News
Smart tech in the kitchen which, as reported by Wise Living, has increased in Google searches in 2021.

New research of Google searches for smart technology in 2022 compared to 2019 revealed significant increases in people searching for domestic smart appliances. According to research carried out by Wise Living who deliver Build to Rent homes across the UK, Google searches for smart dishwashers rose 62%, smart ovens rose by 61%, smart fridges increased by 32% and smart washing machines rose 22%.

Some types of smart tech also saw a drop in searches. Smart home security fell by 19% and smart speakers dropped by 30% compared to 2019.

Experts believe the pandemic has changed the way we live, and this has had an impact on the tech we want at home. The significant increase in investment in tech in the kitchen, for example, is likely due to Brits opting to cook at home more – reducing how often they go to busy public spaces. A decrease in searches for home security could be down because more people work from home, so their property is being left unoccupied much less than before, seeing smart security as less of a necessity.

Tech is now so important in our lives that a fifth of UK renters say they’d fork out up to 10% more in rent each month for smart features in their home. This was according to an industry poll carried out by Wise Living in 2021. It means, based on the average UK rent reported by HomeLet of £1,060 pcm in December 2021, renters are willing to pay up to £1,272 more a year if their property includes smart features. 

Head of Customer Experience at Wise Living believes the amount of time people have spent at home during the last two years has led to smart tech in the home becoming more than just a ‘nice to have’.

“It’s clear from our research that the demand for smart tech in the home is increasing. It’s been talked about for some time, but I think the pandemic really accelerated people’s desire for more smart devices. 

“We’ve all been using smart phones and tablets for over a decade. But now people are spending more time at home, whether due to restrictions or due to habits borne out of the pandemic, and are really seeing the benefit of what smart tech can bring to their home. 

“Part of this is because many people have a desire to be more environmentally conscious and reduce their energy use, especially in light of the rising energy price cap. So, they want to optimise their use of household appliances like dishwashers and ovens. The tail end of millennials and gen z, who are entering the rental market, are also so used to tech, it’s a real expectation.

“I think we will see homes built for both renting and buying that incorporate more smart features in the coming years. The demand is clearly growing.”

Anne Malone, Head of Customer Experience, Wise Living