A new survey of consumer attitudes and expectations about technology finds that a strong majority of Americans expect wearable technology and biometric security to be common within the next decade.
The survey, sponsored by the security company McAfee, asked 1,500 U.S. consumers about lifestyle and technology trends in the home and workplace. The results suggest that consumers are already adjusting their expectations about the future to include pervasive connectivity, a wealth of intelligent devices – and some of the problems that come with both.
More than 60% of those surveyed by McAfee said they anticipate having connected appliances like refrigerators that will “automatically add food to a running grocery list if the product is running low.” A strong majority of those polled – 84% – said they were convinced their home security systems will be connected to their mobile device.
“As technology, especially the Internet of Things, continues to rapidly advance and increasingly connect our everyday lives, we understand consumers are concerned about how these changes will impact their safety and privacy,” said Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist at McAfee in a statement “With this study, we hope to shine a light on these matters and expectations so industry can best integrate new innovations with consumer’s online security and privacy in mind.”
Indeed, the survey also revealed pervasive concerns about cyber security. McAfee found that more than three-quarters of those surveyed admitted to being afraid that their family could fall victim to hackers over the next decade. Consumer concerns about cyber security were focused on issues like exposure to crimes like identity theft, monetary theft and fraud.
That result isn’t surprising, given the bold print headlines about massive data breaches at stores like Target and Home Depot that affect millions of U.S. consumers, said Gary Davis, McAfee’s Chief Consumer Security Evangelist in a blog post.
Worry about the security of Internet of Things devices are also warranted, given recent studies that have found widespread vulnerabilities in connected technologies like home security cameras and appliances, Davis said.
The survey also found that consumers are beginning to accustom themselves to the notion that computing devices could change, with clothing being intelligent and Internet connected and robots being more common in the workplace.
Seventy-seven percent of the consumers surveyed predicted that the most common device in 11 years will be a smart watch and 70% respondents believe overall wearable devices will be commonly used.
Biometrics are anticipated to play a bigger role in using technology, McAfee’s survey revealed. Sixty-nine percent of those surveyed said they expected to be able to access work data through facial or voice recognition. Around a third expect to be able to authorize a payment with a finger scan by 2025 and a slightly higher percent expect to unlock their mobile device by eye scan followed by a thumbprint by 2025. (Not such a stretch, considering that finger scans are already a standard feature on iPhones.)
Almost all of respondents (90%) plan to put more effort into protecting their digital assets in the future after taking the survey.