AARP Research

What Americans Want from Future Technologies

Americans are increasingly incorporating personal technology into every aspect of their lives. Innovators continue to push boundaries and create technological advances both big and small, but as they do so, it becomes increasingly important to hear and listen to the needs and wants of end users. This report examines Americans’ attitudes toward their current personal technology as well as looking at what kinds of technological advances Americans wish for in the future.

Key Findings

  • On average, online Boomers own three personal technology devices, with computers topping the list (93%), followed by smartphones (78%) and tablets (55%).

  • Baby Boomers are no different than younger consumers when it comes to what they like about their devices.

    • Top likes include portability, ease of use, and their ability to stay connected.

    • Top dislikes include battery life and, at times, issues with the complexity of the platform or upgrades.
  • For future technology, Boomers desire simplicity.  Technology solutions that would make their lives easier or more efficient seemed to attract the most attention from this group.

  • Top-rated future technology by area of use:

    • In-Home:  Automated home cleaning.

    • On-The-Go:  Free/always available internet connectivity.

    • Entertainment:  Centralized home entertainment system.

    • Health:  Single diagnostic device for doctors to use in practice and treatment, and a health alert system that monitors health and sends alerts if there are changes or issues.
  • When asked what they would most like to see come to life from science fiction, Boomers focused on travel. Top mentions include Teleporting, Time Travel, Flying Cars, Space Travel, and Medical Advances.

This survey was fielded online by Interloq, Inc. from October 26, 2016 – November 2, 2016. Respondents (n=1449) were age 18+, and sample was balanced to U.S. population on gender, age, ethnicity and region. Data were weighted to U.S. population. For more information contact G. Oscar Anderson at GAnderson@aarp.org.

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