Consumers will adopt the IoT, report says

A report predicts that the Internet of Things is inevitable, with nearly two-thirds of consumers planning to buy an in-home IoT device in the next five years. However, it’s not all trouble-free.

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Inside fridge

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An influx of everyday devices plugging into the Internet via small embedded sensors and processors looks likely to proceed into our lives as planned, if a report from Accenture’s Acquity Group is right.

The study, based on over 2,000 consumer surveys in the U.S., looked into current and potential consumer adoption of IoT, for example, smart thermostats, self-operating vacuum cleaners, and smart fridge in-home devices, and also wearable tech, like fitness devices and watches.

Growth

The study found that wearable fitness tech was likely to see the most growth in the immediate term; 13% of consumers are planning to get into it in the next year.

Smartwatches came in second. The report suggests 5% are planning on a buy in the next year, and 8% are planning on adopting. It’s not clear what the difference is between buying and adopting, so reckon on between five and eight percent having it.

The report found smart clothing and heads-up displays were less popular. It thinks only 3% of consumer will buy either in the next year.

The report does look into long-term projected adoption, but I’ve chosen to ignore a lot of that hypothesis—five years is a long time in tech.

Barriers

As one might expect, the consumers polled displayed a lack of awareness of the term “Internet of Things.” A massive 87% hadn’t heard of it.

Even more striking, though, was that 36% of those who did know about the stuff indicated that they thought there was a lack of value.

What with 23% of those who did know about in-home IoT expressing concern over price, in-home IoT might have problems ahead.

Wearable tech also had issues, with 40% of responding consumers not knowing that it was available in the marketplace at all.

That’s an interesting number, and I’d guess it comprises those not exposing themselves to media that covers any tech; not having early-adopting friends, and not visiting Best Buy recently.

So, wearable technology also has a bit of marketing work ahead of it too.

Interestingly, wearables showed similar adoption issues to in-home tech, with 30% of those who had heard of it indicating that the stuff had a lack of perceived value and 19% having issues with price.

Education

Acquity, the report publisher, uses the kinder term “education” in lieu of “marketing,” but whatever word you want to use, it’s a hurdle. And not only with perceived value and price as I mentioned earlier.

The issues of privacy and usability also play.

Twenty-six percent of those aware of wearables had concerns with privacy, as did 23% when it came to in-home IoT.

Point-of-sale may be the channel for selling. Acquity reckons 71% of consumers would buy a smart fridge if it were offered at the retailer, instead of the normal model. It also says 76% would buy a smart smoke detector.

Premium

So safety is one driving force that Acquity has identified, and it says consumers would pay a premium for IoT devices that promoted it. Interestingly, that ties in with what we know about the marketing of cars and even pharmaceuticals — “an Aspirin a day,” and so on.

Trading

Data sharing was considered OK if there was some benefit shared. For example, consumers reckoned it was OK for helpful information or coupons to be offered as incentives in exchange for data sharing with third parties, and smart smoke detectors don’t take selfies, so we don’t have to worry about that kind of privacy.

What I thought was surprising was that consumers did list location-based coupons and offers for frequently purchased foods as an advantage to in-home IoT, which shows a certain amount of tit-for-tat marketing sophistication; they’re willing to made the trade.

They also liked the idea of recipes, money-saving tips, and info on the least expensive places to buy things. Forty percent were willing to share in exchange for incentives. Only 9% would share without.

So monetization of these new IoT products may not be dependent on a classic, straight-forward product purchase. If selling price can be decreased through cross-marketing, the cost hindrance to adoption may become a non-issue.

Security and privacy may be something else, though. That’s likely to be a general tech issue that gets worse before it gets better. So expect that privacy stat to change.

Now, how do I get that fridge to take a selfie of me with the pop-tarts?

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