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Smart Technology

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In 2020, internet users were asked about their use of smart technology in their private lives. It covers the use of internet connected devices and systems in their homes (domotics), the use of wearable devices, e-health solutions or cars with built-in wireless connection. It must be noted that while one may use their smartphone to control or regulate such a device or system, such use is not covered here in this section.

In relation to domotics or home automation solutions, nearly one in five (19%) use a virtual assistant in their home (in the form of a smart speaker or app, such as Google Home, Amazon Alexa/Echo/computer, Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana, Bixby, etc.). One in seven of internet users (15%) use internet- connected home energy systems such as internet-connected thermostat, utility meters, lights, plug-ins or other internet-connected solutions for energy management in the home, while 14% use internet connected home security systems such as internet-connected home alarm system, smoke detector, security cameras, door locks or other such security/safety solutions for the home. Internet connected home appliances such as robot vacuums, fridges, ovens, coffee machines, etc. are used by 4% of internet users. See Table 11.1 and Figure 11.1.

Show Table: Table 11.1 Individuals use of internet connected devices and systems in the last 3 months, 2020

Household compositionInternet connected home energy appliancesVirtual assistantInternet connected home security systemsInternet connected home appliances
1 adult no
dependent children
1515134
2 adults no
dependent children
1013181
3 or more adults no
dependent children
172196
1 adult with
dependent children
111858
2 adults with
dependent children
2027196
3 or more adults with
dependent children
132970
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Respondents were also asked about their use of internet-connected home entertainment. Over four in ten (41%) use internet-connected TV, while over one in four (26%) use internet connected game consoles, and 15% use a home audio system connected to the internet or smart speakers. See Table 11.2.

Show Table: Table 11.2 Individuals use of internet connected devices and systems in the last 3 months, 2020

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When asked about their use of internet connected personal devices, 23% said that they use wearable devices such as a smart watch, fitness band, connected goggles or headsets, safety-trackers, internet-connected accessories, internet-connected clothes or shoes, etc. One in eight (12%) of internet users have a car with built-in wireless internet connection, while 7% use internet-connected health devices such for monitoring blood pressure, sugar level, body weight (e.g. smart scales) or other internet-connected devices for health and medical care. Just 1% of internet users reported using smart toys (includes robot toys, educational toys, dolls, etc.). See Table 11.3 and Figure 11.2.

Show Table: Table 11.3 Individuals use of internet connected devices and systems in the last 3 months, 2020

Type of device usedPersonal Devices
Wearable devices23
Health related devices7
Internet connected toys1
Car with built in wireless internet connection12
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Internet users who do not use internet connected devices or systems were asked the reasons for not doing so. By far the most common reason was that they had no need to use these internet-connected devices or systems (44% of internet users). Concerns about the privacy and protection of data was given as a reason by 26% of internet users who do not use internet connected systems or devices in the home or personal devices, while one in four (25%) had concerns about security such as that the device or system will be hacked. Over one in five (21%) said that they did not have the skills or knowledge to use these devices or systems, while 17% said that they had concerns about the safety of such devices or systems. One in eight (12%) of internet users reported lack of compatibility with other devices or systems, as the reason for not using internet connected devices or systems. See Table 11.4 and Figure 11.3.

Show Table: Table 11.4 Individuals who did not use any internet connected devices or systems in the last 3 months by reason, 2020

Reasons for not using internet connected devicesDidn't know such devices or systems existHave no need to use those connected devices or systemsCosts too highLack of compatibility with other devices or systemsLack of skill to use those devices or systemsConcerns about the privacy and protection of data about me generated by those devices or systemsConcerns about security (e.g. that the device or system will be hacked)Concerns about safety or health
Reasons for not using internet connected devices1444191221262517

Go to: Household Internet Connectivity