Consumers are frustrated by electronic devices that freeze or crash, and want better performing devices built on smarter, more innovative ’embedded technology’, claims a new study which surveyed satisfaction among technology consumers in the UK and US.Tech users also expressed a willingness to pay more for intelligent devices that perform better, and feel ’embedded technology’ is the key to smart features that would give them the quality of experience they require with equipment.
The survey of more than 2,000 consumers, by Accenture Consulting, probed for current opinions and frustrations with the performance of devices including mobile phones, TVs, computers, digital cameras, GPS systems and household appliances.
It also explored consumer aspirations for innovative, alternative solutions in home automation, energy consumption and transportation.
“The ‘cool factor’ is no longer enough”, said Jean-Laurent Poitou, global managing director of Accenture Embedded Software.
“Consumers, especially younger ones, seek simpler, more intelligent devices with just the right number of useful functionalities.”
Fifty one percent expressed some frustration with at least one of their more frequently used devices in the last six months.
Device crashing (that is, freezing, not responding, and needing to be restarted) is by far the most common source of frustration – cited by 39 percent of respondents. This was twice as much as other causes such as concerns over privacy and data security, too much effort being required to use the device, and limited functionality.
Younger people have less patience when it comes to devices not functioning properly with 49 percent among those aged 18 – 24, citing frustration with devices that crash.
More than a quarter of respondents said they are frustrated when using their mobile phone applications (wishing it could do more things automatically), while also expressing frustration with their TV sets, cars and computers.
UK consumers experienced more device crashes (43 percent to 35 percent of those in the US), but more US consumers felt their devices had limited functionality (18 percent vs. 13 percent of those in the UK).
53 percent of respondents said engineers who design the devices should keep it simple. At the same time, 53 percent also said they would like to be surprised by new innovations and wait for the next great generation of devices (a number which rose to 59 percent among those 18 – 24).
And 43 percent said that engineers would be better off focusing on a limited number of useful functions or apps rather than developing many they will never use.
17 percent of respondents said they would pay up to 10 percent more for devices that could do more things automatically and autonomously, while a further 20 percent said they would pay up to 5 percent more. Another ten percent said they would pay up to 20 or 30 percent more.
The survey found strong market potential for devices that could deliver clear benefits in cost savings, while saving time, making their lives easier and their homes more energy efficient. 73 percent expressed an interest in energy efficient smart home appliances such as washing machines and TVs (66 percent).
49 percent said they would also be comfortale using a driverless car, and 63 percent said they would use car sensors to optimise car insurance premiums.
However, most said the benefits would need to outweigh costs, as 81 percent of respondents said cost was the main factor in discouraging them from using innovative solutions.
Other prohibitive factors impeding use of innovative solutions were data privacy and security (48 percent), and the reliability or readiness of the solution (41 percent).