44% of people in the UK ‘have changed their view and use of technology because of the pandemic’

Jan 12, 2021 | Artificial intelligence, IoT, Marketing transformation, Mobile

Homeworking environments vulnerable to poor connectivity
Brits are now using technology and how our opinion towards it has fundamentally changed. Smart technology is the popular choice and many people believe retailers, and their employers, should be using it.

The study by Toluna, a tech company operating in the market research space, about consumer technology usage in the UK. The study surveyed 1,044 people in the UK.

Technology usage for health and fitness and the smart home has hugely increased with 46% of people now using a lot more technology to keep fit and well. 40% of respondents are investing in smarter technology innovations in the home too.

In terms of typical technology we now use, the research found that:

• 52% of people in the UK own a smart TV
• 33% of people in the UK use voice recognition technology (such as Apple Siri, Amazon Echo, Google Home)
• 26% of those surveyed own a smartwatch
• 23% of respondents own a wearable tech device to measure physical and health activity
• 13% own a virtual reality or augmented reality headset
• 12% are using 5G technology

Smart technology is a popular choice for UK consumers and features strongly in consumer shopping plans in the next 6 months:

• 25% of respondents plan to buy a smart TV
• 19% of those surveyed will buy a smartwatch
• 19% of people will purchase connected lights
• 17% of people will buy connected heaters
• 16% of respondents will invest in 5G technology
• And 9% are even planning to experience a smart robot or humanoid

The smart home is a particular focus for us, with people planning to make the following purchases on smart home technology in the next 6 months:

• Smart technology bulbs – 36%
• Home security (e.g Ring, SimpliSafe, Nest) – 35%
• Connected home devices (e.g Nest, Ecobee) – 29%
• Connected appliances (e.g smart refrigerator, washing machine) – 26%
• Connected home fitness (e.g Peloton) – 23%

An overwhelming majority (66%) believe retailers should invest in and be using smart technology to better meet consumer’s needs with:

• 48% of those surveyed said that retailers should use smart or foldable displays
• 43% said they should be using wearable technology devices
• 42% of respondents believed speech recognition / voice search should be used in retailing environments
• 41% believe retailers should implement facial technology

When it comes to their employers though, 60% of people in the UK do not think they’re up to speed with the latest developments in smart technology. When asked why:

• Over a third of people (36%) said it’s because their company or organisation has simply not adopted smart technology capabilities
• 28% of those surveyed said that the technology and IT equipment is outdated
• 16% of workers in fact use their own technology at work to help them do their job (BYOD)

We’re also intrigued by, and keen to use, virtual technology:

• 29% use VR via their mobile device
• 20% use AR via a video game
• 16% have used VR in a store or shop to preview cosmetics or other products
• Only 8% use VR in their workplace

When asked, 47% of people said they would be more likely to buy a product if they could try it on virtually or see how it would look in their home.

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