Australians Slow to Embrace New Technologies but Want Self-driving Cars

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New research conducted by Toluna, a leading consumer intelligence platform that delivers insights on demand, and Harris Interactive, a full-service digital consultative market research agency, reveals that new technologies are not being adopted quickly by Australians, with only 57% reporting they have used smart technologies. Yet, when it comes to investing in future technologies that enable self-driving cars, almost 50% of respondents would be interested, as compared to the UK (38%) and US (31%).

The survey revealed that 31% still don’t own a wearable, voice assistant device or smart home appliance. If they were going to invest in new technologies, they report they would be most interested in smart home tech with 70% stating that they would buy a connected home device, such as Google Nest or Lenovo Display, smart light bulbs (62%) and connected appliances (50%).

Although most people have used facial recognition technology, voice assistant devices and wearables, a surprising number of those surveyed aren’t yet on board with newer technology. Indeed, 33% haven’t used a smart speaker such as the Amazon Alexa or Apple’s Siri. However, out of those who do use a smart speaker, 70% do use it multiple times per day, demonstrating that when they do embrace smart speakers, it becomes an integral part of their daily routine.

The research clearly shows that as technology develops and plays a larger role in our lives, people in Australia are not keen on companies using technology advancements to better target consumers with their services and products. For example, when asked if they would be comfortable with retail stores using facial recognition technology to better personalize point of sale advertisements, half agreed that they would be uneasy with it.

“Although Australians are familiar with new technologies and understand how they work and the benefits they provide, there is a line drawn when it comes to how far they are willing to allow technology to penetrate their lives. There is simply a good proportion who don’t want to invest in the technology yet,” said Stephen Walker, business development director for Australia, Toluna. “They do not want to be marketed to more heavily through the introduction of facial technology systems at retail outlets, or through user specific adverts via their Google Home or Amazon Alexa device. However, when it comes to making mundane tasks such as parking a car easier, they are much more willing to embrace technology.”

“Ultimately, consumers still want to remain in control of how, when and why they use technology. As the trend towards automation grows, we remain cautious and, to a degree, concerned about how it impacts human decision making which will always be the instinctively favoured choice.”

Notes to Editors:

About the Research

At the beginning of this year and decade, Harris Interactive and Toluna surveyed more than 513 Australian consumers – using Toluna QuickSurveys – to understand their use of new technologies and its impact on their lives. Findings highlight the importance of consumer insights for brands and businesses when introducing and marketing new products. For the full report, which includes research from consumers in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and the U.S. please click here for the full report.

About Toluna

Toluna is a technology company connecting brands with consumers for digital qualitative and quantitative research. We deliver insights on demand through a full spectrum of end-to-end solutions that map customer journeys, develop new products and much more. Toluna is powered by an innovative platform, best-in-class methodologies and a community panel that is 30+ million members strong. An ITWP company, we employ 1,400 people in 24 offices across six continents. Please visit us at tolunacorporate.com.

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive Europe is an award-winning, full service digital research consultancy that makes complex decision easier by providing actionable consumer insights. We offer the perfect combination of research expertise and technology to keep our clients ahead of whatever is next in their industries. Our strengths include brand, new product development and consumer and employee research in both B2B and B2C markets. For more information on Harris Interactive Europe, an ITWP company, please visit http://www.harris-interactive.com.

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