The future of IoT in India is turning the lights off: Tata survey

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The home is the principal environment where people in India expect IoT to make a visible and significant difference – mainly to make sure they didn’t leave the lights on.

That’s according to the first “India IoT Report” from Tata Communications. Released on Thursday, the survey was conducted across 2,000 respondents from 12 Indian cities to gauge people’s awareness levels around the concept of the Internet of Things and views on its impact on their day-to-day lives.

Over 90% of those surveyed said they would be keen to experience a reality where IoT devices could make their lives simpler by, for example, being able to monitor and manage their home appliances remotely in real-time. For example, more than 65% of respondents (mainly men) said they worry about having left the lights on at home, and see IoT tech as a good way to alleviate that fear.

The report also says that Indian consumers are prepared to accept automation of daily chores in their households – representing a major shift from ritual to convenience. More than half of the respondents (54.5%) admit to forgetting to stock up on essential groceries such as milk at least once a month, while nearly a quarter (22.7%) confess to running out of such supplies on a weekly basis. Three quarters (75.3%) of those surveyed said they would be excited to invest in a technology that means they never have to worry about re-stocking the fridge with regular supplies themselves.

From a broader societal perspective, respondents cited improved healthcare as a key takeaway (29.1% of respondents pick this as the principal benefit of a world that is completely connected and connectable), closely followed by reducing traffic congestion (28.7%) and lowering pollution levels to protect the environment.

“IoT has the power to make our lives less stressful, fire the engines of productivity, reduce energy consumption, improve healthcare, and create new disruptive business models,” explains VS. Shridhar, senior VP and head of Internet of Things at Tata Communications. “Yet, there needs to be a greater awareness of the many ways in which IoT could change society for the better and make it safer too. Greater awareness will help spur demand for new IoT services.”

Tata is hoping to coin a new term for the IoT-based way of life, Shridhar said: “We’re calling it the ‘Civic Operating System’ or Civic OS.”

For context, the survey points out that while there is a gradual surge in adoption of IoT and a growth in demand across the nation, only 14.2% of respondents said they are completely aware of the concept. Over a third (34.6%) associate it primarily with smartphones. Only 14.5% of the respondents currently associate IoT with improved public services and fewer than 10% believes IoT could help enhance access to public services.

The “India IoT Report” can be accessed here [PDF].

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