How Digital Assistants Can Play a Role in Greater IoT Adoption

Consumer-friendly devices, such as digital assistants, are the entry point for wider IoT adoption

With user-friendly personas, digital assistants should build consumer trust for IoT devices and set performance standards. However, do current IoT-enabled devices actually live up to consumers’ high expectations?

For many, the answer is, “no.” According to our State of Digital Lifestyles report, global consumers aren’t ready to adopt IoT-enabled devices like digital assistants, with 43 percent having no plans to purchase one and less than one-fifth (19 percent) owning one today.

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To understand what’s causing low adoption rates, we asked consumers their opinions about the use of internet-connected devices. Not surprisingly, they have “trust issues” with digital assistants. In fact, just over one-third (35 percent) of global consumers trust these devices to accurately provide general information such as the weather, news or product information. Additionally, less than one-quarter (22 percent) trust their digital assistant to carry out smart home tasks (i.e. thermostat and lighting control), 29 percent trust their device for online shopping, and 33 percent would trust a digital assistant to manage their calendar.

So, what’s causing the mistrust? Data security is a primary reason, as 45 percent of consumers have concerns about data privacy and 42 percent are worried about potential hacking into the device. In addition, more than 20 percent expressed concerns about difficulty installing and configuring the devices. Only 19 percent said they had no concerns about using the devices.

Fostering consumer trust of digital assistants requires developers to improve security and ease of use. Developers should look to ensure personal data collected by the devices is protected from hackers by a Web Application Firewall and content is delivered via a global private network that is isolated from traditional internet traffic. This will help encourage consumer adoption of digital assistants and subsequently drive adoption of other IoT devices.

About the Author

Mike Milligan is Senior Director, Product & Solution Marketing at Limelight Networks where he leads a team responsible for successful marketing launches, collateral development, sales enablement, and positioning for the company’s portfolio of products and solutions.