Internet-enabled lights, clocks and washing machines meet with approval but refrigerators, toasters and coffee machines are rejected
Wiesbaden, April 19, 2016 – In an expert survey conducted by the international technology and innovation consulting company Invensity (www.invensity.com), over half of the experts said they were undecided about internet-enabled everyday items. 52 percent of the 85 IT experts and executives surveyed are of the opinion that there is a fine balance between the opportunities and risks associated with this. Over a third (37 percent) have a very positive attitude towards the subject and 11 percent are a little skeptical, because internet-enabled items could have many hidden risks. On average, 80 percent of the experts surveyed by Invensity have also thought about internet-enabled items at home as well as in their professional life, because it is a subject that concerns everyone.
Internet-enabled lighting is most popular
The consultants wanted to know which everyday items would be most likely to be internet-enabled. The answer is clear, with almost two-thirds (73 percent) of experts and executives selecting lighting and also liking this idea. The Invensity consultant suspects that the reason for this clear vote in favor of internet-enabled lights may be because they are now already very widespread. The survey revealed other everyday items to be internet-enabled in future (multiple responses were required): clock (30 percent), washing machine (24 percent), refrigerator (23 percent), toaster (15 percent), oven/microwave (12 percent) and coffee machine (10 percent).
The experts‘ approval of various items being internet-enabled varied widely; whereas the clock was approved by 28 percent („I like that“) and the washing machine still managed a score of 22 percent, the refrigerator (10 percent), toaster (3 percent) and coffee machine (2 percent) were well below these figures. „The experts and executives can see that internet-enabled everyday items are on their way but they have different attitudes towards this development,“ is how Ulf Stocker, Head of Software Engineering at Invensity, interprets the findings.
He adds, „A great deal of the experts‘ uncertainty and consumers‘ fears are based on security loopholes and potential cyber-attacks that seem to be ever present. It is therefore important to make progress in the field of cyber security and, of course, data protection as well.“
Display of information is more important than absorption
60 percent of respondents consider internet-enabled items as predominantly devices to provide information, either by display or voice output. For example, the refrigerator could report on its contents and draw attention to food that was close to its expiration date. However, a quarter of the experts consider it important for the appliance to be able to absorb information from its environment, for example via a microphone, camera or sensors. An example of this is a coffee machine that switches itself on with the command „Coffee on“.
The vast majority (62 percent) of experts and executives surveyed by Invensity consider it a positive feature if the appliances‘ internet-enabled features and „intelligence“ are hidden, for example that the microphone in the refrigerator „simply works“ without having to give a command. Just under a quarter (23 percent) think it would be better if the „intelligent features“ were visible, so that the consumer can look at a coffee machine to see whether it is always „listening“ for a nearby command.
Manufacturers need a systematic process of innovation
„The experts‘ vote is clear: 90 percent expect the effects of digitization on everyday life to be strongly felt,“ explains Stocker. He goes on to say, „Digitization not only involves considerable upheaval for consumers, it obviously affects manufacturers too. Suppliers must put in place a systematic and efficient process of innovation as soon as possible, from brainstorming through to product development and market launch. It is not enough to fit the current appliances with a microphone, display and wireless module. Companies have to develop a comprehensive software strategy in order to create smart internet-enabled items.“
Further information: Invensity GmbH, Parkstraße 22, 65189 Wiesbaden, Germany, tel. +49(0) 0611 504 754 0, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, website: www.invensity.com Press contact: Manuel Sollbach, email: email@example.com
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