IoT

15 Most Popular IoT Products and Devices in 2021

July 27, 2021

The most popular Internet of Things (IoT) devices range from wearable tech to exotic home appliances. Our advanced AI algorithms monitor and protect over 1 billion devices, which requires us to precisely identify the types, models and configurations of active devices. These device intelligence algorithms are the reason behind us having some of the most precise data about the real popularity of IoT products. We have released our insights about the overall connected device ecosystem in our recent report, which goes beyond IoT, and includes mobile devices, computers, gaming devices, and many other categories.

Device intelligence is how network service operators (e.g., internet providers) can distinguish devices and their types. CUJO AI Explorer is the most robust and precise device intelligence solution deployed at an unmatched scale of devices.

The percentages provided here represent the popularity of IoT products among all connected devices, including smart phones and computers, to give readers a clearer view of the real scale IoT devices have in the online consumer ecosystem. The two dominant device categories – computers and smart phones – collectively make up around 62% of all connected devices.

What Are the Most Popular IoT Devices?

IoT goes beyond popular things like smart TVs, wearable devices or smart home appliances. Today, there are dozens of categories of connected devices ranging from simple sensors to complex or unusual products.

1. Smart watches are the most popular IoT devices

The Internet went from the computer age to the mobile age, but there are some signals that we have another rapidly growing connected device segment — wearables, notably smart watches. Our real-world device data clearly shows that smart watches are third among all connected devices, trailing only smart phones and computers.

Smart watches are the most popular IoT devices

CUJO AI Labs data

Smart watches have been around for many years, yet these devices have seen much slower adoption rates due to battery size and overall functionality. Nevertheless, in 2020-2021 smart watches are some of the fastest growing IoT devices in North America, and their popularity recently experienced several spikes.

2. Gaming consoles

Gaming consoles experienced two surges in popularity in the last 15 months: The first one happened when the quarantine started and a second one with the end of the year sales and holidays. While there are only a few leading console brands, their market penetration is quite significant, making gaming consoles some of the more common connected devices on home networks.

Most popular IoT devices: Gaming console popularity over time.

Gaming console popularity experienced two surges in recent months. CUJO AI Labs data

Our device distribution data also shows that the PlayStation 4 is by far the most popular gaming console, while the new PS5 has seen low usage due to unit shortages and scalpers buying up the stock and not using the devices themselves.

The Playstation 4 was the most popular IoT gaming device

Gaming console popularity by model. CUJO AI Labs data from April 2021

3. Smart TV sets and content streaming devices

Our data shows that smart TVs and other streaming devices have an established position in the market, yet their growth is slow. It is very likely that TVs and other traditional entertainment systems will not become the most popular IoT products in the near future. It is, however, interesting to watch the VR headset trends in our full report, which might signal a shift towards the new age of entertainment.

Smart TVs are the third most popular IoT devices

How the popularity of smart TVs, set-top boxes, and streaming devices changed in recent months. CUJO AI Labs data

4. Voice control devices

At the end of 2020, voice control devices significantly increased in popularity after the holidays. Overall, these devices seem to have an established position in the IoT market.

Voice control devices are very popular IoT devices

Voice control device popularity in recent months, CUJO AI Labs data

5. Printers

Connected printers have always been among the most popular connected devices. Even though more businesses and households are going paperless, there are still many people and organizations using printers, making them some of the most popular IoT devices in the world.

Printers have a stable niche in the IoT ecosystem, making up around 2 percent of all connected devices

Printers have a stable niche in the IoT ecosystem. CUJO AI Labs data

6. Cameras

Connected cameras have an established niche in the IoT ecosystem, and are some of the most notoriously insecure devices. Our device intelligence algorithms constantly prevent malicious remote access attempts of these devices, as well as automatically monitors them for suspicious connectivity patterns.

The sixth most popular IoT device group are cameras, which make up around 1% of all connected devices

Connected cameras make up close to 1% of all connected devices. CUJO AI Labs data

Making up close to 1% of all connected devices (including personal computers and smart phones), cameras are an increasingly important device in the overall network provider security space.

7. Lighting appliances

Smart light bulbs, automated lighting systems and adaptive lighting solutions were among the first wave of consumer-grade IoT devices, and are still among the most popular IoT devices, with new products appearing on the lighting market every year.

Lighting appliances are popular IoT products that do not show strong trends

Lighting appliance popularity seems stable. CUJO AI Labs data

8. Smart thermostats

Keeping people cooler or warmer with smarter dynamic controls, smart thermostats have a stable, established segment in the smart home IoT ecosystem and did experience a nominal decrease in popularity over the last few months.

Smart thermostats are not gaining a lot of popularity among other IoT devices

Smart thermostats are not becoming significantly more popular, unlike other IoT devices. CUJO AI Labs data

In terms of the most popular smart thermostat models and makers, Google’s Nest, ecobee and Honeywell are the most popular brands on the market. For more data about the most popular IoT  brands, see the full report.

9. E-readers

E-readers had a massive +150% increase in Q2 2020. Making up a rather small portion of the overall connected device population (0.3%), this jump in e-reader popularity was quite significant, even if it did not create any lasting trend in the year since.

E-readers were one of the most popular IoT devices after a surge in popularity as more people stayed at home during the start of the pandemic

E-readers had a surge in popularity as more people stayed at home during the start of the pandemic. CUJO AI Labs data

10. Smart doorbells

There are several categories of smart home safety devices, and all of them had similar adoption rates at the start of 2020. Nevertheless, our data shows that smart doorbells are becoming more popular, close to doubling their quarterly new device numbers. On the other hand, connected smoke alarms and smart key locks have small and stable niches in the connected device ecosystem.

Smart doorbells are becoming popular IoT devices

Smart doorbells are becoming popular IoT devices. CUJO AI Labs data

11. Alarm systems

As noted above, alarm systems recently had a surge, almost tripling their popularity among all connected devices.

IoT Alarm systems gain popularity

Smart alarms almost tripled in popularity very recently. CUJO AI Labs data

Interested in IoT security? Read the latest from our researchers to learn about IoT malware and IoT hacking.

Rising-star IoT Products

Some IoT products might become very popular rather soon, even if other IoT devices have more adoption currently. We have analyzed our data to show four outstanding examples of Internet of Things devices that have gained substantial popularity recently.

Sports and fitness devices

Gym lockdowns and more time at home did not stop people from exercising, and we saw an increase in smart fitness and sports devices connected in March 2020 onward. An overall increase of 50% in popularity, fitness and sports devices show how a significant change in the daily habits and living conditions impact the online smart device ecosystem.

Sports and fitness devices are among IoT products that are gaining popularity

Sports and fitness devices are gaining popularity among IoT products. CUJO AI Labs data

Home robots

Roombas and other home robots are not yet popular enough to appear among the top IoT devices, but our impressions of this space leave us confident that we will see more IoT robots in consumer homes in the coming years.

Home robots are popular IoT products

Home robots as a percentage of all connected devices. CUJO AI Labs data

Connected cars

Still niche among IoT devices (only 0.05% distribution among all connected devices), cars are slowly gaining traction, and two manufacturers are competing for the lead: Ford and Tesla. Ford has been the more popular connected car brand since last summer, while other manufacturers are struggling to carve out a significant portion of the market, with Subaru being the only other manufacturer that had any significant increases in new connections since July 2020.

Connected cars are rising star IoT products, gaining popularity

Connected car popularity by car manufacturer. CUJO AI Labs data

Smart photo frames

Photo frames–were clear outliers in IoT popularity last year, and had massive increases in new connections. These exotic IoT devices allow people to connect their external (e.g. cloud storage) photos with the frame in their home. Several brands are strong in this market niche, making this an interesting category to watch in the near future.

The popularity of smart photo frames over time and most popular smart photo frame brands

Smart photo frames were a popular holiday present last year, with quite a few popular models on the market. CUJO AI Labs data

See More IoT in Numbers

Download our public report on the state of connected devices to get more in-depth and useful data on the IoT device market and the brands that make the most adopted IoT products.