Accenture hints at steep learning curve with consumers using smart devices

Turns out smart devices might cause more work (or at least stress) for consumers than intended.

LAS VEGAS-One of the implied benefits to "smart" devices is that these helpful mobile gadgets eliminate work for its owners.

Turns out they might cause more work (or at least stress) for consumers than planned.

A new survey published by Accenture at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show this week elaborated on some of the challenges presented by the burgeoning new world of connected devices, apps, and sensors - all of which together comprise the Internet-of-Things movement.

The online survey was conducted between October and November 2014, including responses from 24,000 consumers across 24 countries.

According to the global consulting firm, approximately 83 percent of consumers interviewed admitted to problems with new gadgets such as Wi-Fi enabled fitness wristbands, smart watches, smart home thermostats, in-car entertainment (or infotainment) systems, home surveillance cameras and security systems, and other health-minded wearables.

Among these problems, the most frequently cited quandaries included being "too complicated to use" (21 percent), "set-up did not proceed properly" (19 percent), and "did not work as advertised" (19 percent).

In fairness, any of these responses could be applied to virtually any device or appliance released in years and decades before wearables were ever conceived let alone sold.

Nevertheless, these hurdles still go against cost and time savings continually promised by connected tech providers.

Sami Luukkonen, managing director for Accenture's Electronics and High Tech group, suggested in the report that "high tech companies need to go back to the drawing board and rethink their product development approaches to focus on the entire customer experience."

Beyond functionality, tech companies have a bigger grey area to address: data security.

Researchers highlighted trust as a "big concern for consumers," with 54 percent affirming they're not confident in the security of their personal data, such as email addresses, mobile phone numbers, and purchasing history.

That isn't to say the future of the whole connected devices market looks dire, rather quite the contrary.

Based on survey responses, Accenture projected 12 percent of consumers will buy a wearable fitness monitor in the next year. That prediction is expected to blossom to 40 percent within the next five years.

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