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BizReport : Internet : August 21, 2014

Internet of Things not just for the tech-savvy

Recent research from The Acquity Group reveals that ownership of in-home Internet of Things devices will soon extend from tech-savvy consumers to late adopters.

by Helen Leggatt

It's a term that's increasingly popping up in marketing and consumer content - the Internet of Things. Sensors and actuators, embedded in physical objects, are linked through wireless or wired networks using the same Internet Protocol that connects the Internet.

The Internet of Things, while only now becoming a widely used phrase, is not new. The concept was named in 1999 but the first Internet appliance, a Coke machine, was actually in use in 1980 at Carnegie Melon University.

While there are many applications for the Internet of Things within areas such as science, health industry, automotive industry and production and distribution, consumers are also now being able to take advantage of the Internet of Things.

Today the Internet of Things might include such consumer accessible devices such as door locks, webcams, televisions, alarms, garage openers, power outlets, sprinklers, scales, home thermostats and hubs for controlling multiple devices.

According to The Acquity Group's '2014 State of the Internet of Things Study', ownership of such devices will, by as early as 2019, extend from tech-savvy early adopters to late adopters. A whopping 92% of those who consider themselves mass consumers on the adoption curve, and more than three-quarters (78%) of late adopters, say they will purchase an in-home Internet of Things device in the next five years. Meanwhile, nearly half (45%) of consumers and 26% of late adopters plan to do so in the next 2 years.

"These digital devices present major opportunities for improving a brand's customer experience for a range of consumers," said Jay Dettling, president of Acquity Group. "Our data reveals that it's not only tech enthusiasts who are interested in these kinds of products, but late adopters who also express interest in buying them."

The study also looked at smart wearable devices and found that, within the next five years, three-quarters (75%) of consumers and 62% of late adopters plan to purchase such a device in the next five years. Forty-two percent of consumers and 24% of late adopters plan to purchase such a device in the next 2 years.

A recent forecast from CCS Insight illustrates the growth in wearable technology over the coming years. By 2018, the company predicts 68 million smartwatches and 50 million smart bands will be shipped compared with a total of 9.7 million shipped in 2013.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: consumer interests, Internet of Things, late adopter, technology

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