The Internet of Things – everyday objects connected to the Web – currently seems like an inescapable future.
There is a market for such things and devices, but given the consumers’ increasing awareness of the security and privacy dangers of the digital age, the future of the market is by no means certain – or perhaps it is?
In a recent survey, youth marketing group Voxburner polled 1,244 16-to-24-year-olds in the UK, and 67 percent said they are most worried about whether an internet-connected product is secure – this compared to the 45 percent who are concerned about whether it’s reliable, 43 percent about whether it’s expensive, and 22 percent about whether it’s easy to use.
Most (75 percent) of the pollees say that when thinking about the Internet of Things they are “excited,” while only 9 percent feel “threatened”.
Nevertheless, 32 percent are “very concerned” about the security of the data they share with these new types of technology, and 55 percent “a little concerned – so the worry is definitely there.
Still, most of the pollees (64 percent) say that the benefits outweigh risks when it comes to giving away more personal data about themselves.
“I certainly do have concerns [about data privacy] and in some cases I will avoid whatever I am doing if I am not willing to share my information with the company,” says !8-year-old Claire. “However, in some circumstances I do make the trade off in hopes that the company will be responsible and I will get a decent deal for my sacrifice.”
But while some, like 24-year-old Sean, say that “the internet can be useful, but does not always need to be connected to everything,” the majority (75 percent) would be influenced positively by the presence of internet connectivity when buying a home device .
“Think carefully if internet really would improve the functionality and experience or whether it’s just internet for internet’s sake,” he notes, and says that protecting his privacy is his top consideration.
When it comes to wearable tech, most of the polled youngsters are still skeptical about it, and say they will wait a couple of years, and for others to try it first. What currently interests them the most are smartwatches and fitness trackers, the Google Glass.
But 98 percent are sure that given enough time – 5 years at the most – technologies like “the Internet of Things’ and wearable tech will be common in mainstream society.