Consumers Discover the Internet of Things

Companies have so far determined the demand for M2M and IoT solutions. That is now changing. A recent study shows that more and more end consumers are interested in connected products. What is commonplace in factories and workshops is now making headway in people’s homes.




If you walked around the downtown areas of German cities at the turn of the millennium, car sharing vehicles will have been an infrequent sight. Today they are so much a part of the cityscape that it is hard to image cities without them. Along with the triumphant progress of smartphones, machine-to-machine (M2M) communication was the technical requirement that enabled them to come into their own. The locating box inside the car and the requisite app lead the user to the next available car.


Car sharing is one of the few M2M success stories to date in the B2C sector, but that is in the process of changing. Until now, companies have mainly determined the demand for connected solutions, but more and more connected products for end consumers are now establishing themselves, as is outlined in the Acquity Group’s 2014 Internet of Things Study. Whereas only 4 percent of more than 2,000 consumers polled in the United States currently own a smart home device, 69 percent will do so by 2019.


Consumers go for security and energy efficiency


For consumers, energy and security systems are especially important. Thirteen percent of respondents said they already had smart thermostats or were planning to purchase them in the year ahead. In the next five years their number is forecast to increase to 43 percent. The situation is much the same for security systems. While only 11 percent of consumers currently use a connected security system or are planning to buy one in 2015, by 2019 35 percent will do so.





Acquity experts also anticipate a surge in consumer demand for fitness wearables. They include the recently unveiled Apple Smart Watch or Apple or the connected Garmin running watches. Twenty-two percent of consumers already own a wearable or are planning to buy one in the year ahead. By 2019 nearly twice as many (43 percent) will sport a device of this kind.


Smart clothing and heads-up displays will take more time


Connected clothing like fashion manufacturer Ralph Lauren’s smart t-shirt or heads-up displays like Google Glass will take much longer to establish themselves among end consumers. By the end of next year only 3 percent of consumers will wear it. By 2019, however, these product ranges are also expected to grow. The Acquity Group expects 14 to 16 percent of consumers to use data glasses or connected sportswear by then.


The main barrier to the success of connected devices in the B2C market was found in the study to be ignorance. Eighty-seven percent of respondents said they had never heard of the Internet of Things. Among consumers who were aware of the concept, a variety of reasons played a part. More than one in three were unaware of the benefits that connected solutions offered, and 23 percent of respondents had misgivings about privacy and cost respectively.

Tags: Internet of Things , Wearables , Consumer Electronics , Smart Home , Car Sharing , USA

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