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Brits prefer tech for the home to wearable technology

  • Three quarters (75%) of Brits can’t see how wearable technology will make their lives easier, whereas over half (56%) think connected home technology will have a positive impact on their day-to-day lives
  • Despite the widespread appeal of connected home technology, less than a third (30%) realise that it is already widely available

New research from Hive, by British Gas has revealed that – despite recent hype – many Brits are yet to be convinced of the benefits of wearable technologies.

The nationwide survey of over 2,000 UK adults explored people’s perceptions towards a selection of innovative technologies – including wearables such as Google Glass and Apple Watch, connected home devices, artificial intelligence, driverless cars and 3D printers – and found that wearable technology is currently at the bottom of people’s wish-lists. Just a quarter (25%) think wearable technology has the potential to make their lives easier; in fact, one in ten (9%) actually think that wearable technology will make their lives more difficult.

On the other hand, connected home devices – which connect wirelessly via the internet and which allow users to control aspects of their homes, such as heating and lighting – ranked the highest on people’s wish-lists. Over half of respondents (56%) stated they believe the technology will make their day-to-day lives easier. Technology with artificial intelligence such as personal assistant applications (43%) and driverless cars (31%) took second and third place on the wish-list, respectively.

In terms of the features of connected home devices which people find most appealing, three in five (61%) reported that the potential to help them save money is a major draw. Over half (59%) also see the potential for innovations to support vulnerable people (for instance, allowing users to remotely check-in on elderly friends or family, to ensure they are safe and warm).

Other findings include:

  • Over half (53%) think that devices that know when a room is unoccupied and turn themselves off to save money will make their life easier
  • Four in ten (42%) would welcome regular updates to reassure them that their home is secure, and that nobody unexpected has entered it
  • A third (35%) think that being able to turn their hot water on while travelling home, so they can have a hot bath or shower as soon as they get in, would make their life easier

Despite connected homes devices topping the list of desirable technologies, many Brits remain in the dark about the widespread availability of them, with fewer than one in three (30%) realising that they are already widely available in the UK.[1]

Kassir Hussain, Director of British Gas Connected Homes, said: “In the tech space there’s been debate about the potential of the ‘Connected Home’ and the ‘Internet of Things’ for years, but much of the conversation in the past has been about the technology itself, rather than the benefits to consumers. Our research shows that the benefits of connected home technology have enormous widespread appeal, and people are seeing first-hand how it can support them in becoming more in control of their increasingly busy, demanding and unpredictable lives.[2] In saying this, there is plenty more to be done to help people feel comfortable about embracing these products for use in their home, and the next couple of years will be crucial in terms of increasing adoption.

“While this study suggests that people are yet to be convinced as to how wearable technology will benefit them, that’s not to say that this won’t change. Five years ago if British Gas had told its customers they would be controlling their heating and hot water using their phones, I imagine they would have been sceptical. Today, we have more than 150,000 homes doing just that with our Hive Active Heating product, saving up to £150 a year on their energy bills.”

Notes to editors

Survey methodology 
The research was conducted by Opinium among 2,000 nationally representative UK adults in March 2015. 

About Hive Active Heating™ 
Hive Active Heating™ is the first product from Hive, by British Gas – the brand focused on delivering products and services that help people have more control over their homes. 

Hive Active Heating™ lets people control their heating and hot water via their mobile tablet and laptop. Launched in October 2013 there are now more than 150,000 households across the UK using the multi-award winning product. Only Hive Active Heating™ comes with installation included by a British Gas engineer. It’s available to buy at hivehome.com, britishgas.co.uk , Amazon, Currys/PC World, John Lewis, Maplin, Very, Littlewoods, Apple stores and selected Currys/PC World stores. You don’t need to be a British Gas customer to have Hive Active Heating™. 

Discover more at hivehome.com 

[1] All respondents were asked: “When do you think the following technologies will become commonplace in the UK, if at all?” 30% of respondents answered that technology that lets you control home devices remotely, from wherever you are (such as your heating, hot water, lights, locks etc.) is already commonplace in the UK 

[2] The research from Opinium revealed that 1 in 4 Brits (23%) have an unpredictable schedule, and over a third (36%) occasionally have an unpredictable schedule

For more information contact:

Louise Yarrall
louise.yarrall@britishgas.co.uk

British Gas is the UK's leading energy supplier, and serves around 11 million homes in Britain –nearly half the country's homes – as well as providing energy to around half a million UK businesses. British Gas provides value for money, dedicated customer service, innovative energy solutions and the highest quality Home Services expertise in the country. Find out more at www.britishgas.co.uk.


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