GET WIRED OR ELSE!

Well..maybe not “or else”, but the notion of being wired is another method of survival, or at least as just getting by!

GroupM, a marketing research firm, recently conducted a survey asking consumers over their use of modern technology. The results showed that (54.3%) of consumers acknowledge that it’s important to be equipped with the latest technology, with 82% of those responding to the survey believe that either they or a family member should be the only ones with access to health and fitness tracker data.

The report, conducted in December of ’20 by GroupM’s LIVE panel, asked 100 American consumers on their perspectives toward technology covering six general categories: attitudes toward technology, information sharing and privacy, virtual reality-based devices and services, smart appliances, mobile devices and digital services, such as visual search, streaming audio and streaming video.

Among other notions, the survey results found..

Attitudes toward Technology: 54.3% of respondents agree with this statement: “It’s important my household is equipped with the latest technology.” Males, younger people and higher-income households all “completely agree” with a much higher propensity than other groups.

Information Sharing and Privacy for health and fitness trackers: 81.7% of respondents believe that either they or a family member should be the only ones with access to this data. On the other hand, only 6.9% of respondents believe the company that made the device or software should have access.

Virtual or Augmented Reality: the higher the income, the more likely a consumer would respond “yes” to having a “virtual travel experience” like visiting a museum or a foreign city—8% of the highest quintile, while only 24.7% of the lowest quintile. Overall, males across each age group showed a higher propensity to have accessed a “virtual” trip.

Smart Appliances: 48% agreed that they would like a home appliance to “automatically order replacements when I am running out of related products” (i.e.: a washing machine ordering new detergent or a refrigerator ordering food).

5G Connected Devices: 51.5% of respondents said they have a 5G device such as a mobile phone that can connect to a 5G network. Among the half of the population without a 5G connected device, 59.6% of 35-54s said they expect to buy one in the next year, while 45.2% of 18-34s said the same.

Digital Services: Voice Assistance/Visual Search: 96.1% of respondents used an Amazon or Apple connected product to help with their shopping.

Streaming audio services: the responses were significantly higher for females than males regarding YouTube Music (49.1% to 42.4%), Pandora (53.4% to 39.7%) and local online radio station (19.6% to 15.4%).

Streaming Video: In order to maintain a lower monthly bill for streaming services, 66% of respondents said they would accept having to watch commercials.

Note: The above elements as stated were retransmitted from GroupM’s report. The complete results from GroupM can be accessed directly at https://www.groupm.com/groupm-research-reveals-1-in-2-us-consumers-believe-its-important-to-be-equipped-with-the-latest-technology/

It isn’t too much of a surprise that technology in these times have taken its acceptance over the previous year. The current pandemic execrated the use of high(er) tech gadgets and its associated applications, as well as the acceptance of said gadgetry in multifold aspects. Who would ever imagine that Zoom, a video communication source that was mainly applied for business conference related purposes, would be used for just about anything from communication with family members, personal friends, and eventually became part of domestic life milestones ranging from birthday parties, weddings, graduations, bar/bat mitzvahs, bible study groups, and other localized events that used to be done as in-person gatherings?

Streaming services, once considered as a method of getting TV programming that was a lot cheaper than what the local cable TV company offered, also increased in usage∂ thanks to having people staying home through choice and/or circumstance.

Disney+, the streaming channel started by The Walt Disney Company in November of ’19, has recently surpassed Netflix, perhaps known as the be-all-to-end-all streaming channel, as the most-downloaded entertainment video-on-demand app in the USA in the previous year, logging in some 45.2 million downloads compared to Netflix’s 44.7. And WarnerMedia’s HBO Max is now the fastest growing platform. Since its launching in May of ’20, it grew some 242% in daily active users, ranking in as the 8th most subscribed platform. The other channels running through numbers three through ten are in their order, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Tubi, Roku, Google Play Games and Pluto.

And Quibi, the streaming subscription service once made for smartphone viewing with programming running at ten minutes of less, recently found a home through Ruku and will soon be available for streaming for free (It’s going to be advertising supported) made for all devices for viewing, no longer limited just to smartphones! And one will be able to share content to all social media platforms! It will be better to let your friends and “friends” know about what you have been watching lately!

Although tech is usually linked to those that are of a younger demographic, many seniors aged 60+ are also embracing technology and accepting it for what it is. Many of those in that same demographic were first getting acquainted in computers and the internet once found within their places of employment starting in the latter days of the 1980’s to later enhance it in the 1990’s. Those that are of the “Gen Z” group born from 1965 through 1979, first got into video gaming from the arcade found in shopping malls, moving later toward home based devices. They were also the ones that first embraced the internet and its early applications, such as chat rooms! (This group “invented” the letter word “LOL” that stands for “laughing out loud”!) Of course, their kids of adult age and perhaps their grandkids did some part of introducing their parents and grandparents in suiting up to such applications. But the notion that the older one gets the less connected they tend to be, is slowly fading away.

On a side note, this writer has a personal contact with somebody over the age of 65, that still uses a flip phone and doesn’t have any access to a computer device. (This is the person’s personal choice!) This person has stated that she doesn’t feel the need to have a computer device within her reach. She is still employed and isn’t ready for retirement. She is attempting to find another job, and can’t seem to understand why she can’t submit an application for employment somewhere by sending a resume and/or application through standard mail. I did tell her that most, if not all companies that have more than five employees, are even able to process a resume and/or application through the mail. Perhaps they could have as recently as fifteen or even ten years ago. But in this day and age? Not so much! Although I did try to help her out by giving her these hard facts, she doesn’t seem to “get it” quite yet!

Whatever the case, technology, be it as high brow or as low key, is here to stay like it or not! This may be of a good thing, depending on how its used and applied. And as this year is attempting to shake off of the notions that occurred in the previous year, that won’t be too difficult to take. But as the ol’ cliche seems to go, there is an app for that!!
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

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