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CES 2019: Consumers react in real time to hot product announcements


CES is the big tech trade show that geeks and technology companies eagerly await each year. But how much do consumers really like what they see, as it gets unveiled in the big tech trade show in Las Vegas? Apparently the average consumer isn’t as enthusiastic as we techies are.

Toluna, an on-demand consumer insights company, ran a QuickSurvey poll for VentureBeat, asking questions about the stories that we wrote about during the past week. More than 1,000 U.S. consumers between the ages of 18 and 55 responded, and the results are telling.

Of those surveyed, 59 percent said they didn’t own products in any of the major categories at the show. About 20.3 percent of respondents said they owned speech recognition or voice search products like Amazon Alexa. 14.5 percent said they owned wearable technology devices, and 14.4 percent said they owned virtual reality goggles or headsets. 13.3 percent said they had facial recognition technology, and 11.85 percent said they had smart home or Internet of Things devices. The lowest category was augmented reality glasses, where were owned by just 6.3 percent of the respondents.

Above: Most people don’t own any of the major product categories at CES 2019.

Image Credit: Toluna

Some of the other results show:

  • A majority of respondents (54%) would not consider purchasing self-driving or driverless cars.
  • 45% would be interested in Comcast’s advanced security home service system.
  • A third of respondents would be interested in purchasing health-related wearables within the next year.
  • More than 55% would be interested in trying or purchasing Procter & Gamble’s IoT products.

These were just some of the insights. Only 30.7 percent of people said they have used smart home or Internet of Things connected devices. Of those who use them 51 percent say they meet their expectations, and 40 percent say they exceed their expectations. 9 percent say they do not meet expectations.

TV buyers?

LG OLED TV R can roll itself up or down.

Above: LG OLED TV R can roll itself up or down.

34 percent said they were not interested in buying a new TV. But among those who do, the ability to connect to home WiFi is the main reason to buy one, according to 24 percent of respondents. 17 percent said that higher resolution would compel them to buy a new TV.

23.1 percent of respondents said that the LG OLED TV R (one of my show favorites) was “extremely appealing,” while 22.7 percent said it was “very appealing,” 25 percent said it was “slightly appealing,” and 29 percent said it was not appealing at all.

Above: Comcast’s Xfinity security service.

Image Credit: Comcast

Comcast announced an advanced Xfinity security service for home cable modem users. 45 percent said they were interested in it, while 30.2 percent said they were not, and 24 percent didn’t know.

Laptop buyers?

The Alienware Area-51m with Legend design.

Above: The Alienware Area-51m with Legend design.

Image Credit: Alienware

Of those surveyed, 23.7 percent said they weren’t interested in buying a new laptop. But 23.3 percent said fast processing speed was a reason to buy one. 18.1 percent said longer battery life was another reason, and 9.9 percent said durability was a reason.

Asked if they were gamers, 34.3 percent said yes, and 65.6 percent said no. 18 percent said they would buy gaming laptops with the latest graphics. 30 percent said they would buy monitors or laptops with integrated privacy screens, and 15.3 percent said they would buy gaming laptops with thinner designs, and 13.9 percent said they would buy desktop replacement gaming laptops.

Wearable buyers?

The Omron HeartGuide reads your blood pressure.

Above: The Omron HeartGuide reads your blood pressure.

Image Credit: Omron

Wearables like the Omron HeartGuide, which measured blood pressure, were popular at CES 2019. 40 percent said they wouldn’t buy wearables. But 38.6 percent said they would buy a wearable to track general fitness. 36.2 percent said they would buy one to monitor health signals. 28.5 percent said they would do it to improve sleep quality, and just 11.1 percent said they would buy one to improve sports performance.

For those who were unwilling to buy a wearable, 48 percent said the price is too high, 32 percent had privacy concerns, 11 percent said it would be hard to learn, 15.6 percent said it would become obsolete, and 20.8 percent said they already owned too many tech devices.

Above: The case against wearables.

Image Credit: Toluna

Among the wearables we wrote about, 29.7 percent said they would buy a watch that uses body heat and solar power to provide battery life, like the Matrix Industries PowerWatch 2. 36.4 percent said they would buy custom insoles for their feet. 16.4 percent said they would buy lightweight augmented reality glasses, 15 percent said they would buy lightweight mixed reality glasses, and 33 percent said they would buy health-related wearables that track signals like blood pressure. 36 percent said they would buy none of the above wearables.

In terms of other devices, 24.7 percent said they would buy AI sensors that track driver movements in cars for driving security; 17.5 percent said they would buy AR for heads-up displays in cars; 20.4 percent said they would buy automated home devices like smart toilets; 23 percent said they would buy foldable smartphones, but 50 percent said they would buy none of the above.

Driverless cars?

Carsten Breitfeld, CEO of Byton, shows off the car's 48-inch screen.

Above: Carsten Breitfeld, CEO of Byton, shows off the car’s 48-inch screen.

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

53.7 percent said they would not consider buying a self-driving car. 26.8 percent said they would, and 19.4 percent said they didn’t know. Of those who said they would not, 48 percent said they enjoy driving and like having control over the car; 34 percent said the cars would be prone to accidents; and 13.6 percent said they thought the price was too high.

Procter & Gamble?

Gillette's heat razor

Above: Gillette’s heated razor

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

Procter & Gamble came to the show for the first time in its 182-year history. Of the products it announced, the most popular was an online beauty tool that makes custom skincare recommendations using artificial intelligence, coming in at 26 percent approval.

20.6 percent said they would buy a travel learning lab kit for skin care counseling; 23.3 percent said they would buy a connected smart home fragrance device that can distribute custom levels of scent; 24.8 percent said they would buy a toothbrush with AI; 20.3 percent said they would buy a device that scans, detects, and temporarily corrects blemishes; 16.7 percent said they would buy a self-heating razor; and 15 percent said they would buy an engineered soap that can clean using less water.

Overall, 42.4 percent said they would not buy any of the products.

Why buy any technology?

Sign at CES 2019.

Above: Sign at CES 2019.

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

Lastly, the survey asked why people would buy new products. 40.3 percent said they would do it for entertainment purposes; 25 percent said for automating tasks; 29 percent for measuring behavior data; 37 percent for security purposes; 26 percent said for privacy reasons; 13.3 percent to share on social media; 17.8 percent said for a better gaming experience; and 9.6 percent said for receiving more personalized ads. And 25.6 percent said they were not interested in buying new technologies.

The survey looked for insights on technology trends, purchase intent and adoption of consumer technologies and devices launched at the CES 2019 show held in Las Vegas, between January through January 11.

As for the methodology, Toluna has an established community of 40 million registered consumers globally that take their surveys.  Respondents are incentivized with rewards (not payments — they are not employees or contract workers). People who are registered are alerted to relevant surveys via email, and they then log into the Toluna’s platform to take the survey.

When people register, demographic info is captured as part of the registration process (age, gender, region, education level, race, income, employment, primary grocery shopper, number of children under 18, etc. The standard number of respondents is 1,000, which carries a 95 percent confidence level.

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