The “smart home” looks set to be the arena in which many people will utilize consumer-facing Internet of Things (IoT) technologies for the first time. A new generation of familiar household devices and appliances (e.g. washing machines) are becoming “smart” through the addition of sensors, software and Internet connections. They are entering the home alongside innovative IoT era devices (e.g. smart speakers) – often integrating with them to form smart residential systems (e.g. relating to energy, entertainment and home security). This report outlines the key consumer benefits and risks associated with Internet of Things (IoT) devices in the “smart home”. The benefits include convenience, customisation and control. However, there are potential risks for smart home residents such as data privacy and cybersecurity threats, limitations on interoperability, the need for lifetime product support, complex supply chains and liability regimes, and product safety.
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