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Smarthome Tech in America

Smarthome Tech in America | Cabletv.com

At CableTV.com, we love a good sci-fi show. It’s fun to imagine a future where smart tech is far more than a great way to stream TV—where technology becomes so advanced that almost every part of the character’s lives are automated.

Wondering how close that science fiction is to science fact, we used Pollfish to survey eight hundred people, a group made up of 272 millennials, 261 Gen Xers, and 267 baby boomers. We hoped to observe a difference in smart tech use and opinions between generations.

Our survey focused specifically smart home tech such as smart TVs, smart thermostats, and smart hubs (like Google Home and Amazon Alexa). But many of our survey participants responded with smartphones in mind, so our results will be influenced by their broader view of the term “smart tech.”

Smarthome tech in America survey results

For the most part, the survey revealed few stark gaps between generations, but there was a definite preference towards smart tech usage in millennials, which fizzles out by the time we get to baby boomers.

  • The most common type of smart tech in homes is smart TVs, and millennials are the most likely to have them. However, almost half of baby boomers don’t own a smart TV.
    • Millennials—84.19% have a smart TV at home
    • Gen Xers—73.18% have a smart TV at home
    • Baby boomers—55.43% have a smart TV at home
  • It’s hard to find a millennial without smart home tech, but nearly a third of baby boomer participants have none at all.
    • Millennials—7.35% have no smart tech
    • Gen Xers—15.71% have no smart tech
    • Baby boomers—33.33% have no smart tech
  • While retinal scanners are a sci-fi staple, the majority of all generations prefers typing in their passwords to the more modern facial recognition and fingerprint scanners.
    • Millennials—58.09% prefer manual password entry
    • Gen Xers—61.69% prefer manual password entry
    • Baby boomers—66.29% prefer manual password entry
  • But for the folks who do like to unlock their smart tech without a string of numbers and letters, fingerprint scanning is the preferred method. But while facial recognition isn’t most people’s favorite method, it seems slightly more popular with younger generations.
    • Millennials—58% prefer fingerprint scanning and 42% prefer facial recognition
    • Gen Xers—59% prefer fingerprint scanning and 41% prefer facial recognition
    • Baby boomers—63% prefer fingerprint scanning and 37% prefer facial recognition
  • We aren’t alone in our own homes, according to nearly all our survey participants. Most felt that hackers, identity thieves, the government, and advertisers spy on us through our smart home devices—but a few people had some wilder ideas.
    • One millennial and a Gen Xer both feel an ex-partner is likely to use a smart home device to spy on you.
    • Another Millennial believes the Illuminati is watching.
    • And a final Millennial was very specific that they were being spied on by “perverts.”
  • When it comes to minding your p’s and q’s, Generation X is the most likely to say “please” and “thank you” to their smart tech.
    • Most baby boomers say they’re hardly dependant on smart home devices, while most Millenials and Gen Xers claim to be only somewhat dependant. But despite their conservative self-identifying, the majority of each group—73.38% of total participants—believe people rely on smart technology too much.
      • Always—20.22%
      • Often—26.47%
      • Occasionally—32.35%
      • Never—20.96%
    • Most Gen Xers often use manners with smart tech
      • Always—19.16%
      • Often—31.80%
      • Occasionally—29.50%
      • Never—19.54%
    • Most Baby Boomers occasionally use manners with smart tech
      • Always—22.10%
      • Often—23.22%
      • Occasionally—29.59%
      • Never—25.09%
  • Most baby boomers say they’re hardly dependant on smart home devices, while most Millenials and Gen Xers claim to be only somewhat dependant. But despite their conservative self-identifying, the majority of each group—73.38% of total participants—believe people rely on smart technology too much.

If you’re interested in using smart technology a little more, check out these genius ideas from a few of our participants.

“I say ‘hey Siri’ when I can’t find my phone, because it answers me and then I know what part of the apartment it’s in.” –A millennial

“I wake up my kids in the morning with music.” –A Gen Xer

“I don’t make grocery lists anymore—I just photograph what’s in my cabinets and fridge. I do online comparisons while at the place I’m shopping, and I use store apps specific to that store to find items and availability.” –A baby boomer

How does your generation’s smart home tech usage match up with your own usage? Do you stay independent of it, or are you eagerly awaiting a Rube Goldberg–esque machine to make your eggs and toast in the morning? Let us know in the comments below.

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