America saw a connected device boom during the pandemic.
A study in March 2021 found that the average United States household had 25 connected devices, including laptops, tablets, smartphones, smart TVs, streaming or gaming devices and fitness trackers.
This figure had more than doubled in two years, with consumer use of connected technology growing by 50% within that time frame. Much of that growth is thanks to COVID-19, as consumers needed to learn to use these devices to attend virtual healthcare visits, work remotely, stream media and conduct shopping and other financial tasks.
Nearly 40% of American consumers say they will upgrade to newer models of their connected devices as they become available. And a recent report also showed that 57% of consumers in Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. were already using voice assistants on devices in their hands, cars and smart speakers.
That means manufacturers will be under pressure to develop devices that can handle everything from entertainment and communication to shopping and bill payment.
It also means that buyers will need help navigating this technology, with 46% of U.S. consumers polled last year saying they had difficulties with their connected products and could use assistance from manufacturers with troubleshooting and getting their devices connected to the internet. Close to a third said they found the process overwhelming.
Providers must also ensure the safety of devices, including through the use of security measures that can function as “traffic cops.”
These solutions work by assigning devices a unique and unchanging ID, and using machine learning to help detect and stop advanced threats such as rooted or jailbroken devices, emulators, app cloners, repackaged apps, VPNs and botnets.