24/7 Smart Tech Connections Are a Universal Priority

Young consumers feel constant connection is necessary to improve lifestyles, while older consumers stay connected to feel safe

WILTON, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--New research announced today by Toluna, a leading consumer intelligence platform that delivers insights on demand, and Harris Interactive, a full-service digital consultative market research agency, reveals 66% of people say it’s vital to stay connected all the time with new smart technologies.

The research finds that while smart technologies and the ‘always on’ culture that they enable holds strong across almost all U.S. citizens, individual age groups have different motivations for wanting and valuing the connection.

The study discovers that people aged 18 - 34 years old are most likely to buy technology that keeps them constantly in touch in order to monitor their health and fitness, while people aged 55 and over are most likely to purchase technology for home security.

“In order for older people to embrace a technology, its value has to be near and dear to them – such as their personal health or safety. We’ve found that there are deep generational differences in the tech capabilities that people view as valuable. Young people, who by and large easily adapt to new technologies, are interested in the improvements to their lives smart tech can offer. Whereas older people are more likely to utilize the practical benefits technology can bring,” said Jay Rampuria, EVP of global business development, Toluna.

One type of new technology that held interest across all age groups was connected home devices, with 64% of respondents across all age groups embracing connected home products. For the 55+ age group, the primary reason for purchasing smart devices was security or safety.

The research revealed the importance of security for older Americans is impacted by perceived invasions of privacy that can come with new technologies. One of the most striking differences occurred within targeted advertising - while 58% of those aged 18-34 would be more inclined to use smart speakers with targeted ads, 68% of those 55 and older would be less inclined to use them.

Rampuria continued: “Manufacturers need to realize the generational differences when it comes to targeted advertising. For younger people, personalized advertising is a routine facet of their lives, especially for smart technologies. They are not only accustomed to targeted advertisements, but have come to expect them and find them useful. However, for older people, the perceived lack of privacy makes them feel less at ease and therefore less likely to purchase a new technology.”

Among younger generations, an entirely different purchasing pattern emerged. Technologies designed to improve sports performance or sleep quality are enthusiastically embraced by younger respondents, significantly more so than older age groups. In fact, more than half (53%) of the 18-34 age group use smart devices to track and monitor health/fitness activities, while less than 15% of 55+ age group utilize these technologies or features. Similarly, 58% of 18-34 age group were interested in connected home fitness, while 97% of those in the 55+ age group have never purchased sports or sleep tech.

“Our results demonstrate clearly divergent priorities and usage among age groups – especially around health and fitness. Where younger people are capitalizing on the health monitoring benefits that tech can provide, older generations are using connected devices to feel safer. The rate at which younger people are embracing new technology around wellness and connected home fitness demonstrates a consciousness among younger people to responsibly track their health,” Rampuria concluded.

Notes to Editors:

About the Research

At the beginning of this year and decade, Harris Interactive and Toluna surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. 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 Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK as well as 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

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


Articulate Communications for Toluna
Emily Allen