How Close are We to a Jetsons-Like Life?

From automated thermostats to artificial assistants, the topic of "smart" technology has reached the masses with 86 percent of consumers "confident they know what it means when someone says they have a smart home" according to a Finn Futures survey conducted by Finn Partners. There are varying levels of excitement and concern for these technologies, however, particularly those used outside the home. 

For example, when having to choose a number from 0 to 10 (0 meaning "not excited at all" and 10 meaning "extremely excited") concerning autonomous vehicles, a majority (59 percent) of Americans chose a number of 5 or lower. Only 15 percent of Americans say they are "extremely excited."

Americans may be underwhelmed by the thought of "driverless" cars, but 77 percent think it will be normal to have a robot in their home within 20 years. Technology like Rosie the Robot from The Jetsons would be very welcomed by three out of 10 respondents who want robots to handle household activities such as folding laundry or vacuuming, making chores the second most desirable smart home feature next to home security.

Of course "robots" will look very different than decades-old cartoon characters with devices becoming automated and "robotic" themselves - requiring security measures (since they will likely be connected to the home's Wi-Fi, an access point for hackers), data interception and analysis (a system that can detect malfunctions, for instance, or suggest upgrades) and other additional technology for them to work well for the consumer and the business (check out, "This Too Shall PaaS? The Ins & Outs of Your Product as a Service"). 

Regardless of capabilities, consumers will drive adoption of "smart" technology and decide whether the tradeoff of security for convenience will work for them. Survey findings, however, indicated that cost is a bigger concern than security for most:

- Americans were three times as likely to cite cost (59 percent) as a barrier to smart home technology as they were to cite privacy concerns (20 percent).
- Younger Americans are more likely to cite privacy concerns - 26 percent under the age of 45 cited privacy/security as a concern whereas only 16 percent of people over 45 had the same concerns.

For further insights into the research, check out the infographic below (click to zoom).  FinnFutures_SmartTech_infographic_v5