Tuesday, 11 February 2020 23:36

Australians slow to embrace, adopt new technologies Featured

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Smart tech home use  Smart tech home use

Australians are slow to embrace new technologies according to new research revealing that new technologies are not being adopted quickly in Australia, with only 57% of Aussies reporting they have used smart technologies.

Yet, when it comes to investing in future technologies that enable self-driving cars, the research by almost 50% of respondents would be interested, as compared to the UK (38%) and US (31%).

New research conducted by consumer intelligence platform Toluna, and digital market research agency Harris Interactive, also revealed that 31% of Australians still don’t own a wearable, voice assistant device or smart home appliance.

And according to the research, if Australians were going to invest in new technologies, they report they would be most interested in smart home tech with 70% stating that they would buy a connected home device, such as Google Nest or Lenovo Display, smart light bulbs (62%) and connected appliances (50%).

“Although most people have used facial recognition technology, voice assistant devices and wearables, a surprising number of those surveyed aren’t yet on board with newer technology,” the researchers say.

“Indeed, 33% haven’t used a smart speaker such as the Amazon Alexa or Apple’s Siri. However, out of those who do use a smart speaker, 70% do use it multiple times per day, demonstrating that when they do embrace smart speakers, it becomes an integral part of their daily routine.

According to Toluna, the research clearly shows that as technology “develops and plays a larger role in our lives”, people in Australia are not keen on companies using technology advancements to better target consumers with their services and products.

“For example, when asked if they would be comfortable with retail stores using facial recognition technology to better personalise point of sale advertisements, half agreed that they would be uneasy with it.”

“Although Australians are familiar with new technologies and understand how they work and the benefits they provide, there is a line drawn when it comes to how far they are willing to allow technology to penetrate their lives. There is simply a good proportion who don’t want to invest in the technology yet,” said Stephen Walker, business development director for Australia, Toluna.

“They do not want to be marketed to more heavily through the introduction of facial technology systems at retail outlets, or through user specific adverts via their Google Home or Amazon Alexa device. However, when it comes to making mundane tasks such as parking a car easier, they are much more willing to embrace technology.

“Ultimately, consumers still want to remain in control of how, when and why they use technology. As the trend towards automation grows, we remain cautious and, to a degree, concerned about how it impacts human decision making which will always be the instinctively favoured choice.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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