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Samsung: UK consumers want 3D printed medicine and smart traffic systems

Majority of public embracing shift to smart society, according to research
Tue Jun 03 2014, 11:55
Internet of Things street furniture gathering data

THE UK PUBLIC is optimistic about the Internet of Things (IoT) with two thirds embracing the country's shift to smart devices, according to research carried out by Samsung.

At an event at The Shard in London on Tuesday morning, Samsung unveiled its "Towards a Smarter Society" research paper, which it produced in partnership with the Big Innovation Center, whose partners include Google, Unilever and the Technology Strategy Board.

The research aims to show how the UK is becoming "smarter" and how the British public is responding to it.

While an IoT poll recently conducted by The INQUIRER showed that the UK public is resistant to the rise in internet-connected devices, Samsung's research claimed that the majority of consumers - 68 percent of those surveyed - believe that the UK is well on its way to becoming a "smart society", and are pretty happy about it too.

Those surveyed believe that "smart" is already a part of day to day life, with Samsung highlighting that 25 percent of Brits now binge-watch TV shows such as Breaking Bad, with over 40 percent of consumers using apps, such as Skype, every day.

That isn't enough, however, and those surveyed have coughed on what internet-connected devices they would like to see in the UK. 55 percent of those surveyed said smart traffic systems are at the top of their want lists, while 49 percent want the option to book a doctor's appointment online, 27 percent want a smart fridge and 27 percent want 3D printed medicine.

Andy Griffiths, president of Samsung UK and Ireland said, "I believe next few years will be pivotal time as a technology leader in UK. The seamlessly connected world is now a reality, and Samsung views [the] UK as a pace-setter when it comes to innovation."

Samsung Smart City event

It isn't that straightforward, though, and Samsung's research noted that a number of factors must be enabled for the UK to become a truly digital society, and for the remaining 32 percent of the UK public to be swayed.

Echoing the security concerns discussed at The INQUIRER's recent IoT roundtable, Samsung noted that there needs to be a culture of trust surrounding personal data, with Griffiths saying that there needs to be confidence in order for the UK to become truly smart.

"Trust is central to this," he said, adding that "citizens need to be more digitally aware" about their personal data. Samsung also noted that an investment in infrastructure is also required, along with open platforms and open markets.

Samsung's research paper said, "Success in building a smart society will deed on our ability to bring people together. This agency is not about citizens in isolation, nor businesses, governments or universities on their own. It is not even about the bilateral interactions alone.

"It is abut engagement in smart networks. The collectivise efforts of all are needed to co-create open platforms, new products and services, and new markets that will ultimately serve the purposes and needs of society."

Perhaps not all of Samsung's research was quite so insightful, with the firm also revealing that 17 percent of UK residents would rather give up showering than using the internet for a year. µ


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