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87 percent of consumers haven't heard of the internet of things

Over a third don't see the point
Fri Aug 22 2014, 14:57
The Internet of Things is still not part of the mainstream

A REPORT on the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) suggests that there will be a 69 percent adoption rate of IoT devices by 2019, even though most don't know what it is.

The report from The Acquity Group entitled "The Internet of Things: The Future of Consumer Adoption" says that 30 percent of consumers already own at least one IoT device, based on a survey sample of 2,000 people, with four percent opting for an in-home device, such as a Nest thermostat or a semi-sentient washing machine.

Wearables are expected to be the first area to jump in popularity, doubling from the present seven percent adoption to 22 percent in 2015, with 13 percent of consumers expected to buy a wearable next year.

The demand for smart clothing, including heads-up displays such as Google Glass is, however, low, with only three percent suggesting that they will buy in the next year, and only around 15 percent in the next five years.

A major concern for IoT companies that are pouring billions into the technology is that, in the survey, 36 percent of consumers cite a lack of perceived value for IoT devices as the main barrier to purchase, more than any other reason, knocking cost and even privacy into second and third place.

But what is bound to surprise the educated reader most is that the main barrier to the adoption of the internet of things is that a staggering 87 percent of respondents had not heard the term prior to the survey. Of those questioned, 64 percent were unaware that smart appliances, thermostats and fridges exist, and 40 percent didn't know that wearables are a thing.

For us who work with or at least have an interest in technology, it's very easy to forget that we are still in the minority and that our understanding of the internet of things is the exception rather than the rule. For every Google Glass Explorer, there are still 100 consumers who struggle to work their televisions, and education both on the existence and value of the internet of things will need to be a prerequisite for its success.

In the meantime, adoption of internet of things devices is likely to remain low. µ


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