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India, China pine for more Internet-connected devices

Posted: 23 Feb 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IoT  Internet  developing economies 

There is high consumer interest in the Internet of Things (IoT) globally, as well as huge desire for Internet connectivity in developing economies, according to a new research conducted by the element14 Community, an online community of more than 300,000 electronics engineers.

The study, conducted as part of element14's mantra, "Engineering a Connected World," included more than 3,500 people in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. When asked if it would be beneficial to connect more devices and appliances to the Internet, 43 per cent agreed. However, the research highlights a notable thirst for increased Internet connectivity in developing economies, hinting that IoT has the potential to continue the trend for increased access to the Internet in developing economies that mobile has created.

On average, 31 per cent of consumers in Australia, France, Germany, the Untied Kingdom and the United States agree that the more devices in their home that connect to the Internet, the better. This figure more than doubles to 71 per cent for consumers in both India and China, newly industrialised countries with lower percentages of population with Internet connectivity (according to World Bank data).

The research findings give new credence to the launch of the latest Design Challenge from the element14 Community, Enchanted Objects. As part of the challenge, Community members across the world are encouraged to re-imagine everyday objects using embedded Internet of Things technology, as explained in this video.

Other findings from the study include:

  • Respondents in India and China are also more likely to agree with the statement "The more of the world that is connected to the internet, the better," indicating that desire for connectivity extends beyond their homes. On this statement, 86 per cent and 73 per cent concurred for each country respectively, compared to just a 55 per cent average across Australia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • People in India and China are much more open to wearing a connected device such as a smartwatch or smartglasses, with 63 per cent and 66 per cent agreeing, compared to 26 per cent on average in the other countries surveyed.
  • In the United States, nearly two thirds (68 per cent) are concerned about notification overload as an effect of connected devices, highlighting the need for intelligent automation and minimal interaction in IoT technology.
  • With regard to the privacy implications of IoT, France was revealed to be the most concerned nation with 81 per cent agreeing this was an issue for them. The average number was only marginally lower (77 per cent), showing IoT technologies must be transparent and address privacy concerns.
  • Aside from India and China (which were 59 per cent and 63 per cent respectively), Brits and Germans are the most gadget-obsessed nations, with 50 per cent of both agreeing that they cannot live without their gadgets and technology.

The Enchanted Objects Design Challenge will be judged by a panel of IoT experts. This includes Dr John Barrett, Head of Academic Studies at the Nimbus Centre for Embedded Systems Research at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and Group Director of the Centre's Smart Systems Integration Research Group.

Barrett commented, "The IoT has immense potential, but individuals and companies also have very valid concerns about security and privacy in an interconnected IoT world. In Nimbus, security and privacy are an integral aspect of our research and application development, and worthwhile IoT devices need to reassure users they will get something they value in return for allowing their data to be collected. I'm very much looking forward to what participants in the Enchanted Objects Challenge produce."

To learn more about the Enchanted Objects design challenge, visit the homepage.

For more thoughts on the research in this release from one of element14's technology experts, read Sagar Jethani's blog post here.

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