Smart heating beats out smart watches for most desired ‘Internet of Things’ product

12 March 2015

While companies like Google and Apple are busy trying to make smart watches the next big thing in mobile tech, new research suggests that the typical consumer is more interested in smart bulbs and smart heating systems.

Research by YouGov, commissioned by cloud computing expert Redcentric, has revealed that almost a quarter (24%) of UK adults who don’t currently own a smart heating system like Hive or Nest would be interested in buying one in the future, while more than one in five (22%) who don’t currently own smart light bulbs would be interested in buying these.

In contrast, only 12% of UK adults who don’t currently own a smart watch said that they would be interested in buying one in the future, despite the hype around the new technology. Fitness bracelets like Jawbone had even less demand amongst those who don’t own them at 11%, while smart security systems were favoured by 17%.

The research also found that, from the list of smart products provided, only 11% of people had already invested in the Internet of Things, suggesting that there is wide scope for growth in this market in the near future.

Overall, the future looks good for the Internet of Things, the umbrella term given to an internet-enabled network of devices, with 42% of UK adults stating that smart products have a positive effect on our daily lives, compared to just 9% saying the opposite.

However, there is a clear concern over the security of using cloud-enabled smart devices. Last year, HP carried out a study* into the vulnerabilities of smart home products, finding that six of the reviewed technologies lacked encryption and that some stored personal and even financial details.

Redcentric’s own research** recently revealed that more than one in five people use the same passwords across all their internet accounts and that a third of passwords contain personal information.

Simon Michie, CTO from Redcentric said: “Cloud-enabled smart devices are going to become more prominent in our daily lives over the next five years, especially within the household. Products like Hive and Nest, that allow users to control their home heating remotely, are attractive to the everyday consumer, while technology like wearables are probably still viewed as a bit of a novelty at the moment.

“Ultimately, the Internet of Things will make our lives easier, but we need to remember that these devices are connected to the internet. They contain our personal information, and just like a computer they can be accessed by malicious third parties, so consumers need to still be vigilant by making sure they have secure passwords and do their research about any potential known vulnerabilities in these products.”

The study comes as part of a campaign Redcentric is undertaking called Security for Life, which highlights the need for better internet security, both personally and in business.

* BBC News, 30 July 2014, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-28569342.

** The survey was conducted by The Leadership Factor with 1000 UK participants aged 18+ between 16th-18th September.

About the study

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2,178 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 20th - 23rd February 2015.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).