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June 3, 2014

Is the UK smarter than the US?

Samsung details how the UK has developed from analogue, to digital, to a 'smart' society.

By Duncan Macrae

More than two thirds of Brits believe the UK is well on its way to becoming a smart society, but the majority believe we are playing catch up with the US.

Samsung UK’s new research paper, Towards a Smarter Society, commissioned in partnership with leading think tank, the Big Innovation Centre, found that one in 10 Brits feel that the UK is ahead of all other countries when it comes to ‘smart’ technological innovation, though.

The report, which looks at the impact smart technology will have on the economy, home life and on individuals includes findings from research conducted with 2,000 members of the public as well as expert opinion gathered by the Big Innovation Centre. The findings are being fed back into Samsung’s development team as the company looks to reinforce its position as a leader in the UK’s move to being a smarter society.

Andy Griffiths, president of Samsung UK & Ireland, said: "At Samsung we’re not only in the business of inventing cutting-edge products, but also in the business of making people’s lives easier through technology.

"To do this we have to listen to and respond to people’s needs and our work with the Big Innovation Centre and their expert partners aims to give us an understanding of what the UK consumer expects from technology. This knowledge, coupled with our own innovation, will secure our leadership in smart society as it evolves."

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Findings from Samsung’s research show that ‘smart’ is already a part ofday-to-day life for the British public;from how people work, to how they watch TV and communicate with loved ones, Smart technology is vital to the way we live. The most common use of smart technology right now in the UK is with internet connectivity apps with nearly half (41%) of Britons stating that apps such as Skype are part of their daily lives this is followed by;

2. Smart TVs (29%)
3. Remote working systems (20%)
4. Smart technology that make the home more efficient (16%)
5. Smart energy meters (10%)

Smarter living set to rise

Speaking at the UK launch of the report, Andy Griffiths President of Samsung UK & Ireland discussed Samsung’s role in smart evolution and highlighted the need for the technology sector to empower people through smart technology by listening and responding to their needs.

Indications from Samsung’s research show that right now the needs of the consumer are focused very much on the home. The smart technology adoption patterns in the UK are being influenced by the financial, environmental and safety benefits smart technology can bring to the home with the public citing technologies that will impact the home as the innovations they are most likely to adopt next;

1. Technology that makes homes more efficient and saves money (72%)
2. Smart home security systems (71%)
3. Smart light systems (69%)
4. Smart energy meters (67%)
5. Connected home appliances (washing machines you can control from your phone (55%)

Looking further into the future, innovations in the home remain top of the agenda for the British public with over a quarter (27%) citing fridges that create a shopping list for you as top of the technology they would like to see and 16% admitting they would like the option to buy products advertised on TV through their smart television set.

Smart health

The healthcare sector is an area British consumers identify as being an industry they believe could benefit the most from the efficiencies of smart technology.

People see smart technology impacting both the sector and them as individuals, with over half of the British public (51%) stating they are likely to use wearable technology to monitor and track their health and fitness in the near future and 46% of people citing the smart innovation they would most like to see rolled out in the next year as being internet enabled doctor’s appointments.

Griffiths added: "It’s clear analogue Britain is no more, it’s digital Britain, and at Samsung our role in this evolution is to empower people through technology. I firmly believe the next few years will be a pivotal time for us as a technology industry leader and as a major business in the UK. We want smart to be inclusive not exclusive, we want it to be enterprising and innovative and we want it to be about taking all of UK society forward."

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