At Home In The Car And Anywhere You Can Imagine
As we highlighted in an earlier blog discussing our recent consumer survey, Bluetooth® technology is widely available, offers seamless interoperability, and “just works”—all of which makes it a go-to for consumers when it comes to streaming audio at home, connecting accessories to their computers, and other “basic” wireless functionality. What we didn’t touch on, however, was the wide range of increasingly complex IoT use cases consumers are starting to demand of their wireless technology. The good news? Bluetooth already contains the features and functionality required to deliver on the majority of these demands. A survey conducted by Lux Insights, Inc. found consumers already associate Bluetooth with making their lives easier, and they are most interested in carrying that over to improve their experience in the car, at home, and when connecting to their environment in general.
Americans love using Bluetooth for hands-free calling in the car—in fact, 52 percent of those surveyed say Bluetooth is ideal for this. As ubiquitous as this may seem, there are still folks (nearly 35 percent of them) who haven’t experienced the joy of Bluetooth and the connected car. And even those who have experienced hands-free might not yet be aware of audio streaming. Even as Bluetooth becomes the standard for car manufacturers, with 90 percent of cars projected to have Bluetooth built in by the end of 2016, those who use the technology for hands-free do not always make the connection that Bluetooth can be used to stream music in their cars. However, 56 percent of those who do use Bluetooth to stream music on their drive say it is an ideal experience.
Just like in the car, American consumers are eager to use Bluetooth to connect with their homes. When asked what they are most interested in using Bluetooth to wirelessly control around their homes, the majority said lighting, temperature, or door locks, while 53 percent left it open for the IoT to get creative by responding with “other home applications.” Despite this heavy interest, not all consumers are aware that Bluetooth is capable of delivering this type of functionality. For the 34 percent of you that fall into this category, we’re here to tell you that Bluetooth is in the greatest number of connected devices of any other wireless technology, with nearly three billion Bluetooth enabled devices shipped in 2015 alone and projected shipments to hit five billion in 2021.
With such growing interest in at-home connectivity, it’s no surprise that American consumers are excited to connect to their environment outside the home as well. While only a quarter of consumers know Bluetooth offers location awareness applications that can help direct them through a public space or building, nearly two-thirds said they would be very interested in this kind of functionality. Bluetooth beacon technology continues to be built into myriad aspects of our daily lives and the smartphone in your pocket is already set up for beacon interaction. This technology is already assisting with city navigation and existing Bluetooth products like BeaconGrid are using beacons to help first responders locate at-risk people faster and more effectively in emergency situations. You also see this technology used in retail settings to offer additional information about products, push customer/location specific discounts, and help direct customers to the products the need—something 50 percent of American consumers are looking for in a retail experience.
What does all of this really tell us? Namely, that the American consumer wants a wireless technology that will make their life—every aspect of it—easier. Fortunately for them, 77 percent of those surveyed think Bluetooth is easy to use and does just that. Consumers not only cite the ubiquitous nature and “just-works” experience of Bluetooth, but 62 percent also said it was its reliability that made their lives easier. Consumers are looking to experience convenience and connectivity in their car, at home, and throughout their daily lives, and we are consciously building the technology that will create the unthinkably connected world consumers are dreaming of.
Bluetooth SIG members can access the full report presentation here.