Commentary

Consumers With Connected Devices Don't Use Them To The Fullest

While many devices within the Internet of Things come with a lot of capabilities built in, many consumers aren’t yet using them all. Others aren’t even aware of what other capabilities their smart devices have.

For various reasons, half of consumers are not tapping into features or capabilities of connected devices they own.

Fewer than a third (31%) of households are taking full advantage of all of the capabilities of their digital assets, according to a new report by International Data Corporation for Telus International.

Part of the reason that connected devices are not being fully utilized is that not everyone knows the extent of what the devices do. Some don’t know everything their devices can do and others have a feeling there is more there but aren’t aware of how to do it. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 31% -- My household takes full advantage of all of the capabilities of our digital assets
  • 32% -- My household uses most of the capabilities of our digital assets, but we could be using more
  • 16% -- Our digital assets have capabilities that I know we could use, but I don’t know how to set them up
  • 10% -- Our digital assets have capabilities that I know we could use, but I am concerned that they won’t work reliably or that they will be too much of a hassle
  • 24% -- I think our digital assets have capabilities that we could use, but I am not sure what they are

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In-home tech challenges have moved way past adjusting the blinking digital clock on the front of a VCR (video cassette recorder).

Consumers are faced with connecting their smart TV to their home network after they set up their home network, downloading apps to monitor and control a new smart device, syncing devices to their phones with Bluetooth, setting up remote-controlled thermostats and remotely monitoring various things through their smartphone.

The top three interests consumers have around home automation and control are using networked sensors to monitor for fire, smoke or water, to see and record who comes to the front door using a video camera and using networked sensors to monitor doors and windows.

At the bottom of the list of what interests consumers are networked kitchen appliances, demand-response control for energy consumption and voice-control of lights, music, appliances and home environment, according to IDC.

Smart devices keep coming, with more and more features included.

Next up will be marketing to educate consumers about what these gadgets can do and then helping consumers figure out how to use them more easily.

4 comments about "Consumers With Connected Devices Don't Use Them To The Fullest".
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  1. Doug Garnett from Protonik, LLC, October 3, 2016 at 12:07 p.m.

    They omitted what I think are a couple of critical answers here:  


    • My digital devices have capabilities I don't use because those capabilities aren't important to me.

    • it is so complicated learning new capabilities that they just aren't worth it.



    Smart device manufacturers seem to have been pursuing the creation of a sci-fi like home - that nobody really wants to live in except for an isolated few.

    Moore's "Cossing the Chasm" describes this industry perfectly - tons of early adopter gozmo's with no reason the majority want them.


  2. Mark Westlake from GearBrain, October 3, 2016 at 12:21 p.m.

    We need to educate them on how to use these devices as well as the benefits they have to offer.  No one is doing this today.  

  3. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, October 3, 2016 at 1:17 p.m.

    Agree, Mark, and the devices themselves have to be easier to set up.

  4. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, October 3, 2016 at 1:22 p.m.

    True, Doug, but at least the statements included did provide some insights. Your second statement suggestion is great.

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