What’s IoT good for? In India, it depends on your age: survey

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Enhanced provision of public services is a top priority for India’s mature generation (over 35s) for the IoT, while the country’s younger generation (18-25 year olds) perceive the impact of IoT enabled services to be most palpable in their immediate environments, such as home automation.

Those are the findings of a new survey from from Tata Communications to gauge the awareness levels of people around the concept of the IoT and views on its impact on their day-to-day lives.

According to the report, domestic automation appears to be a near-necessity for India’s youth. For 54% of India’s youth (millennials aged between 26 and 35, and Generation Z aged between 18 and 25), IoT is all about smart homes (like smart TV, smart lights etc) and smartphones.

Around 67% of over-35s view IoT enabled devices and services as creating exponential value in the realm of public services – like energy conservation, lower pollution, better treatment and disposal of waste, better access to public utilities and healthcare facilities.

With new sophisticated technologies leading to a hyper-connected world, 24% Indians hope for greater levels of safety/security for their family and citizens (25% over 35s / 23% under 35s), 23% expect improved levels of healthcare (26% over 35s / 21% under 35s), and 21% improved access to public services (23% over 35s / 19% under 35s).

“The potential for IoT as a ‘public good’ is clearly immense, but for this to be realized, open dialogue between all segments of society – from consumers and businesses, to the public sector as well as technology providers – is now essential,” said VS Shridhar, senior VP and head of IoT at Tata Communications. “India’s youth is clearly inspired by IoT’s potential to automate their domestic environments, but that represents a fraction of IoT’s potential to transform society as a whole. People of all ages and sections of society need to have a deeper understanding of IoT and how it can benefit their lives as citizens.”

Tata adds that the IoT landscape in India is progressively changing. According to recent estimates, the market for IoT in India is expected to be valued at $9 billion, with an installed base of 1.9 billion units by 2020. While the country has witnessed a fast start in the adoption of IoT, it is increasingly realizing IoT’s potential and beginning to embrace the technology more holistically. Currently, the individual benefits are driving the momentum for IoT in the country, and there is a need to expand our view and create awareness around the larger societal impact that it can have, the report said.

The ‘National IoT Survey Report’ was conducted across 2,000 respondents from 12 Indian cities. The full report can be accessed here [PDF].

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