Survey finds generation gaps in adoption of new tech

A new survey highlights how IoT and wearable technology adoption vary by age.
  • Tony Bradley (PC World (US online))
  • 16 September, 2014 23:13

Wearable tech and Internet-of-Things (IoT) gadgets are all the rage. A new survey from Acquity Group, though, illustrates how different generations are embracing these new developments.

The study defined three age groups: Millennials (ages 18-25), Generation X (ages 26-35), and Baby Boomers (over age 45). (I guess that group between age 36 and 45 just isn't very interesting). Overall, Acquity Group found that younger consumers are most likely to adopt connected technologies in the long run, but older consumers are more likely to own certain products already.

For example, 53 per cent of Millennials plan to buy some sort of in-home IoT technology in the next five years, compared to only 32 per cent of Baby Boomers. When it comes to wearable tech, 36 per cent of Millennials plan to adopt wearable tech gadgets in the next five years, while only 25 per cent of Baby Boomers indicated as such.

When the focus goes from the general wearable tech to wearable fitness tech, however, 59 per cent of the Generation X crowd said they'll adopt it within five years, but only 47 per cent of Millennials agreed. This seems to reflect the differences in the stages of life. Millennials are still in the immortality phase, while the Generation X group is starting to feel its age and recognize that fitness requires some conscious effort.

Another interesting tidbit from the survey is that 45 per cent of Baby Boomers plan to adopt a smart thermostat in the next five years, but only 35 per cent of Millennials do. Again, this seems to reflect the differences in maturity and responsibility between the two groups. Baby Boomers are much more likely to have families, and own homes, so they stand to benefit more from IoT technology that can simplify home management.

The upside for wearable tech and IoT manufacturers is that the potential is almost limitless, but the cautionary lesson from the survey is that vendors need to make sure they target the right market in order to maximize the odds of success.