Data and marketing professionals might be basing their future strategies on the rise of new technology but many consumers simply are not interested in the latest gizmo, no matter how clever it may seem.
New research conducted by Toluna and Harris Interactive shows that although most consumers (75%) have used at least one technology such as facial recognition, voice assistants, wearables and other smart devices, nearly a third (31%) of people don’t own a wearable, voice assistant device or smart home appliance.
The Italian market is far more advanced, with only 14% of consumers not having invested in new tech but Britain is still ahead of Germany, where nearly half (46%) of people do not own connected gadgets.
Harris Interactive UK sector head for technology, media, telecoms and entertainment Steve Evans said: "The research flags some interesting sentiment across the UK when it comes to the use of the latest and greatest technologies in everyday lives.
"It shows that people are confident with using smart tech and associated devices but there’s clear evidence that a good proportion simply don’t want to invest in the technology just yet.
"This could be because they’re happy to spectate development for a while longer, to see how far we go with smart devices and if technologies such as facial recognition, voice assistance and virtual reality become mainstream."
The research also reveals UK consumers are cautious about the way companies are using technology to better target them with their services and products.
When asked, for example, if they would be comfortable with retail stores using facial recognition technology to better personalise point of sale ads, 46% of people said that they would not be at ease at all.
There was a similar attitude towards smart speakers. When asked if the introduction of advertising to the likes of Amazon Alexa or Apple Siri would make any difference, nearly 40% said they would be less willing to use them.
When asked about the future of in-car technology, nearly 35% of respondents said they did not care about having smart features in their vehicle.
However, half (52%) of those surveyed said they would be more likely to buy clothing or make-up if they were able to virtually try it on or to see how it would look at home; a factor which the report authors insist demonstrates a "pick and mix" attitude among consumers to what they want technology to do and how they wish to use it.
Evans added: "It’s obvious that technology developments have given people more convenience, more time and allowed them to personalise their lives to their specific likes and dislikes.
"Our research shows that although people enjoy and understand how new technologies work and the benefits they provide, there is a line drawn when it comes to how far technology penetrates our lives, especially if it infringes on privacy.
"Ultimately, consumers still want to remain in control of how, when and why they use technology. As the trend towards automation grows, we remain cautious about how it impacts human decision making."