Cashing in on the work-from-home movement and consumers’ appetite for hyper-connectivity, personalised smart services provider Plume says it has passed a major milestone with more than a billion unique client devices managed by its cloud controllers globally.
And as it announced the achievement, the company released data and insights into smart home trends resulting from increases in the number of devices, types of device, hours used and data used across smart homes.
Claiming that its products and services have been deployed in more than 30 million locations globally, Plume described itself as the creator of the world’s first software-as-a-service (SaaS) experience platform for communications service providers (CSPs) and their subscribers.
It said its growth coincides with a major shift in the way people are using their technology at home for everyday convenience, entertainment and new work norms, with homes becoming more crowded than ever with smart and connected devices.
Plume said that while the pandemic has accelerated and influenced some trends in the types of device and patterns of usage in the smart home, its analysis found that many of these trends were in place pre-pandemic and are expected to continue post-pandemic as consumers embrace the value of smart homes. As well as the expected increase in smartphone, laptop and tablet ownership and usage, Plume found that deployment of internet-of-things (IoT) devices was rising significantly.
The research found that Covid caused consumers to use more devices, with the number of devices per US household increasing by 38% during the pandemic, reaching an average of 18 devices per household, up from 13 in October 2019. This, said Plume, reflects two commonly reported trends during the stay-at-home regime: an increase in the number of family members living together as many young people returned from college or urban environments; and investment in technology as people spent more time at home.
The most common smart home device was voice assistants, which grew by 28% between October 2019 and May 2021.
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But as the number of smart devices increased, so did security threats. Between October 2019 and May 2021, there was a 39% increase in the number of cyber security threats blocked by Plume in US homes.
“This milestone is significant because it marked the arrival of the truly connected smart home.” said Bill McFarland, CTO at Plume. “In the US, we are seeing 38% growth in connected devices per home on our cloud-controlled software defined network (SDN), and believe this is just the tip of the iceberg as more consumers see the value and realise the promise of smart Wi-Fi and smart homes.”
Going forward, Plume believes personalised smart home experiences – the intuitive home – is the next big play. It said consumers are now ready for the devices they use, and the services that connect them together, to anticipate their needs and go beyond point solutions. This level of interoperability requires visibility and capability that crosses the entire home network and insights from a massive, global dataset, it said.
Plume expressed confidence that CSPs, device makers and application makers are all rushing to fill that need and that as the operator of what it claimed to be the largest cloud-controlled SDN in the world, it sat at the intersection of it all.
In April 2021, Plume revealed a key stage in its smart services growth strategy for the year with WorkPass, a suite of intelligent services and management tools purpose-built for the needs of small businesses.