Adobe has now released its first ever Adobe Digital Insights Digital Dollar Q1 2018 which highlights, among other things, the trends in smart devices over the past fiscal year. What makes the figures pertaining to smart devices particularly interesting is the rate of adoption for those devices over the past several years. In this case, devices included in those trends are smart TVs, smart watches, and smart speakers. Other smart technology products, such as smart refrigerators and light bulbs, have remained predominantly stagnant. For example, smart light bulbs have only gained between 1-percent year-over-year, based on first-quarter reports, over the past four years. For 2018, those landed at around 12-percent of the overall market, whereas smart-enabled fridges only account for around 10-percent of overall revenue. Those figures seem to indicate, according to Adobe, that buyers are looking for a specific experience when buying smart devices. Whatever that experience is, those products just haven't proven themselves to deliver it yet.
Smart TVs, on the other hand, reached maturity in 2016 and as many as nine out of every ten TVs sold so far in 2018 has fallen into that category. In fairness, Adobe includes all TVs connected to the internet, so this doesn't necessarily only include televisions with apps or app-like experiences. Bearing that in mind, the overall trend within that seems to be TVs that have Chromecast, Roku, FireTV, or other streaming services built-in. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that growth has been tied in with more buyers choosing larger TVs with higher resolution, as well. Those two metrics, Adobe says, are linked in with the amount of content and quality of available content provided by innovations in gaming and streaming. Smartwatches have followed a similar trend, more than doubling in sales since 2015 and with steady growth over the past four years. As many as one out of every five watches purchased online falls into the category. That seems to follow two separate occurrences within that technology's industry. The first is a drop in pricing overall, whereas there's also been an incursion from traditional watch manufacturers making high-quality premium devices. Adobe also says there's a strong correlation between New Years – presumably New Year's resolutions about health and fitness – and upticks in smartwatch sales.
Smart speakers, in the meantime, have seen growth alongside the introduction of A.I.-enabled digital assistants. Sales spiked in 2017, topping out at 58-percent of all speakers sold in Q1 2018. Adobe says that voice assistants such as Google Home and Amazon Echo appear to have provided the majority of fuel for that growth – with figures only sitting at 28-percent of speakers sold in 2016. Amazon's Alexa, for example, seems to have driven sales for Sonos. The company's Alexa-enabled Sonos One appears to have resulted in double the number of sales for Sonos year-over-year. Those assistants, meanwhile, are predominantly used for playing music, accessing weather, for "fun questions," or general research, Adobe says. Of course, this report does cover quite a bit more than just smart product trends. So anybody interested will want to click the button below to access the entire thing.