Smart devices were key to consumers improving their homes during lockdown

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Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown/quarantine, we saw many peculiarities. These ranged from a massive increase in sourdough and banana bread being baked, but also the more nefarious, with a spike in cyber attacks. According to a report from Xiaomi, consumers also used the time stuck indoors to improve their homes by purchasing smart devices.

In fact, Xiaomi’s report found that, since March 2020, 70 percent of consumers surveyed had reported making changes in their living environment due to spending more time at home during the pandemic. Furthermore, more than half – 51 percent – have reported purchasing at least one smart device during that period.

This makes sense, especially as those who were able to work remotely, were encouraged to do so. Added to this was ensuring that your home office, or whatever your remote working setup was, was adequately kitted out in terms of necessary smart devices.

“Smart living has always been about reimagining and optimising physical space to solve problems and adapt to new realities through the use of technology, and we’ve seen this adoption accelerate in 2020,” explains Daniel Desjarlais, Global product marketing manager at Xiaomi.

“Connected homes, automated systems, and new technology are helping people create ecosystems within their homes to solve new challenges presented by increased time at home, whether it’s adapting or creating new uses for old spaces, such as office space or classrooms, or just creating a more streamlined home that is easier to manage and control,” he adds.

Diving deeper into the numbers, Xiaomi discovered that Gen Z consumers in particular embraced smart devices during the pandemic and lockdown.

“On average, consumers bought two new smart devices since March in response to being home more during the pandemic, with Gen Z consumers buying an average of three,” the report notes.

“Smart devices can help to streamline a space and provide solutions for problems generated by more time at home, such as the need to carve out specific work or study space. Regardless of devices purchased, there is an overwhelming consensus among consumers (82%) that there are significant advantages to a home with smart devices,” it adds.

As such, it looks like convenience was as big a factor than any when it comes to consumer’s desire to purchase new smart hardware.

It also appears as it the trend from last year during lockdown will continue into 2021, as increased time spent within the confines of the home will lead to more innovative ways to make it smart, according to Xiaomi.

“Smart devices can inspire consumers to see new uses for their space: such as creating at-home movie theaters with smart projectors, access to a plethora of streamed content, smart speakers, and more; or, creating a specified workspace with increased connectivity, automated lighting, and upgrading existing tech to smart solutions,” says the Chinese company.

Based on the findings from this report, Xiaomi is going to be doubling down in terms of bringing smartphones and devices into the country in 2021, as it looks to transition from simply being a mobile brand locally, into a smart solutions one.

“These solutions will further complement the existing Smartphone device portfolio which was launched with Vodacom Group Limited in the last quarter of 2020. We are very excited about introducing our Smartphones and Smart Home Solutions to the South African public whose home and work environment have been equally affected by the pandemic,” concludes country manager for Xiaomi South Africa, Michael Brown.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.