by Jeff St. John
June 15, 2018

GTM Research’s latest report on energy management in the connected home covers a lot of ground. But its primary insight can be boiled down to this: tap into the home energy management opportunity that Alexa has built.

Since its 2015 debut, Amazon’s Alexa has become the recognized brand — the household name, if you will — for the new class of voice-activated, Wi-Fi-enabled, broadband-connected personal assistant devices that are rapidly becoming the de facto platform for the next-generation smart home. Alexa isn’t the name of the actual speaker Amazon makes (that’s called the Echo), but it’s the voice, not the box it comes in, that people identify with.

Around 39 million Americans, approximately 16 percent of the adult population, owned a voice assistant device by the end of 2017, according to surveys conducted by NPR and Edison Research. The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) estimates U.S. sales of stationary voice assistant devices, often in the form of speakers, more than tripled from 8 million in 2016 to 25 million in 2017.

About 30 percent of households with voice assistant devices today use them to control other connected devices, but GTM Research assumes that the share will grow to 35 percent in 2018 and keep growing at 10 percent per year. By 2023, 48 million households will consider voice assistant devices the brain of a smart home, with 75 percent of them controlling multiple devices like webcams, smart door locks, networked light bulbs, smart thermostats, and the like.