The Internet of Things may be a step too far for tech’d out consumers

1 year
    Press Release

As the Internet of Things (IoT) gains momentum, a new survey reveals almost half of UK consumers claim they need no more technology in their lives. 

A survey by leading online research and survey technology provider, Toluna, today revealed the evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT) may be causing a backlash against technology, with around half (47%) of UK consumers saying they don’t need any more technology in their lives – an increase of 14% compared to six months ago.

The survey, which questioned a representative sample of 1,000 UK consumers in March 2015, follows a similar survey conducted in September 2014 and aims to uncover how consumers’ feelings about the prospect of connected living – and their knowledge of the IoT – have changed. A comparative study was also conducted in the US.

While more consumers now have some understanding of the IoT, a rapidly-growing proportion feel they already have enough technology in their lives. A similar picture can be seen in the US with half of US consumers (50%) stating they don’t need any more technology. More than one in three UK respondents (35%) say they dread having to learn to use another new technology (up 10% in six months), while 45% see the IoT as another technology that can go wrong (up 9%).

The greatest issue is security, with over two-thirds (67%) of respondents citing this as a concern, followed by reliability (62%) and behavioural issues such as distracted drivers and constant interference (47%).

However, it’s not all bad news for the IoT – and the negative reactions may simply be a result of cynicism that often surrounds the introduction of new technologies. When asked if there were areas in which they would not use the IoT, nearly a third (30%) of respondents claimed they would not rule out any specific uses. The survey illustrated an increase in the proportion of UK consumers who believe they will be likely to use the IoT for healthcare (39%; up 10%), fitness (28%; up 7%), home appliances (47%; up 6%) and connected cars (33%; also up 6%), indicating that when the time comes, consumers may make space in their lives for more technology after all.

Frédéric-Charles Petit, CEO, Toluna, commented: “The Internet of Things is set to be a game-changing development, and as a business at the forefront of technology innovation, Toluna set out to uncover consumers’ views on connected living. It is interesting to see that an increasing proportion of UK consumers currently claim not to want any more technology in their lives, although there are specific areas in which consumers feel the IoT may prove useful.

“While our research reveals that consumers are somewhat sceptical about this new evolutionary era of technology, this uncertainty will likely wane once we see how connected devices – such as smart medicine bottles and wearable activity trackers – revolutionise our lives for the better”.

Other key findings from the study:

• While more than half (56%) of UK consumers are excited about the new technologies involved in connected living, this is significantly less than the 69% of US consumers giving the same opinion

• Awareness of the IoT has increased in the last six months, with the proportion of respondents who have never heard of it decreasing by an encouraging 15%

• Most awareness of connected living is amongst the younger generation (under 35s), those with incomes over £50,000, and males

• UK adults are slightly more likely to want to drive a connected car (33%) as those that say they definitely won’t (28%)

• Among those concerned about security and the IoT, the greatest proportion (86%) are worried about hackers, while the lowest proportion (30%) are worried about other members of the household placing orders without permission

Methodology

The survey was conducted in March 2015 among 1,000 adults (18+) in the UK and 2,000 in the US. Comparisons are made with a similar survey undertaken among 1,000 adults (18+) in each market in September 2014. Respondents were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Toluna surveys. Figures for age, gender, education, income, employment, and region were weighted to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the online population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.