A recent study found that over 80% of respondents want a connected lifestyle powered by smart technology – but only 22% achieve it today.Far from growing our own vegetables or retiring to the countryside, for most people the desirable life now means a more connected, convenient and ‘seamless’ life.
This is according to a study by Siemens Home Appliances in partnership with Goldsmiths, University of London.
The study – which surveyed 7,000 adults in Germany, France, UK, Russia and China – found that 81% of people dream of a truly integrated lifestyle with intelligent technology at its heart, something experts now have termed a ‘Seamless Life’.
In a Seamless Life, everything works the way people want and expect it to, and the way they manage their everyday lives lets them have the next, life-enhancing experience.
This is enabled by connected technologies that help manage the complexities of life with more control, self-optimisation and freedom. Yet at the same time, today’s tech-savvy generation is extremely wary of gadgetry that adds more distraction than value, is hard to use or fails to support their evolving life ambition.
Like their northern hemisphere counterparts, South Africans are also in search of the ‘Seamless Life’, says Lisa Greenwood, Siemens Communication Manager, South Africa.
“Life has become so fast paced with the continuous challenge of balancing it all. Nowadays people download applications for simple tasks in order to manage and optimise their lifestyle striving towards the perfect balance between work, family and life,” says Greenwood.
Dr Chris Brauer – who is Director of Innovation in the Institute of Management Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London – led the five country study and contributed to the consequent report named, ‘Why people strive for a Seamless Life: Uncovering the opportunities of a connected lifestyle.’
Dr. Brauer says: “’Seamless Life’ can be called a global socio-cultural lifestyle trend, and at Goldsmiths we’ve seen this develop over the last few years. It’s the modern way of living in an integrated ecosystem of people, culture, and technology. The study findings underline this aspect with 81% of people desiring to live a Seamless Life. Today, though, only 22% claim that they are achieving this lifestyle already today.”
Closing the reality gap: Seamless Life needs intelligent technology support
The gap between desire and reality is vast – specifically French (91%), German (85%) and Russian (80%) consumers wish for such a lifestyle, with only a low percentage of people (e.g. UK (10%) and Russia (11%)) mentioning that they actually managed to achieve what they want.
But how can this gap be closed? Living a Seamless Life is about recognising that this enhanced lifestyle is a result of intelligent, inspiring behaviour and technology, with a desire for continual excellence.
As one study participant describes it: “Aspiring for a Seamless Life is about constantly seeking opportunities to live and flourish with a balanced portfolio of activities, with appropriate time for a variety of work, family life and personal projects. There is harmony in everything you do.”
Overwhelming passion for a technologically enhanced lifestyle
People want frictionless and synchronised experiences throughout their daily routines. The study found that technological innovations are key to achieving this. Other opinions around a connected lifestyle that the study uncovered are:
- People desire to be the master of their lives in an evermore complex world. 91% say it is important to be “master of our own time”. A mere 1% disagreed.
- More than 80% of people agree that smartly overcoming obstacles and adversity is an acceptable part of striving for a Seamless Life.
- Intelligent technologies augment our capabilities by allowing day-to-day activities to be automated and enabling us to choose when we want control – wherever we are, whenever we want. 81% of participants say that technology empowers them to become better in their everyday lives.
- Over half of respondents (55%) seek out technologies that can anticipate their needs – a particularly interesting desire when considering that people still demand to stay in full control of what technology should do for them.
- Even the most Seamless Life holds its uncertainties. Therefore, it’s crucial that known elements are managed efficiently to streamline activities and free up time for unexpected encounters or new life-enhancing opportunities. Almost 71% agree that connectivity increases control and opens up possibilities to do more in their lives – this particularly holds true for home appliances.
Pioneering the Seamless Life
Given their central role in everyday living, one area of technology becoming increasingly vital to enabling a Seamless Life is home appliances.
For years, washing machines, refrigerators and dishwashers have helped people manage daily chores and get on with the rest of their life. As technology advances, these appliances are set to play a more integrated and intelligent part in people’s day-to-day life.
The study found that 71% percent of people agree that having connected home appliances increases control and opens up new possibilities to do more in their lives. Hence, people are becoming more passionate about the latest home appliance technologies, with 51% of respondents seeing them as a key element to a Seamless Life.
Greenwood notes that introducing appliances with intelligent technology and innovative solutions can improve your lifestyle greatly with little effort.
“It is possible to tremendously reduce your time and effort by simply using home appliances such as the iQ700 oven range from Siemens,” says Greenwood.
Hoffmann goes on to say that key benefits of this range include technology such as varioSpeed that reduces the speed of cooking a wholesome meal with 50%, a bake sensor allows for the perfect bake, every time and the added steam function allows you to prepare delicious meals without compromising on quality or your health.
Other great benefits that truly improve your lifestyle are the dish categories that helps you select the perfect setting for every single meal such as the right temperature,
The range further features bars and trays are specially designed to be used with activeClean so you don’t need to remove them at all.
“The activeClean feature makes it possible to forget about the chore of cleaning your oven and gives you back your time to spend on the things you love. For a life less ordinary,” says Hoffmann.
Christoph Kilian, Chief Brand Officer for Siemens Home Appliances, has these concluding words to say about the study and a ‘Seamless Life’: “Our study found that nearly everyone recognises the key to unlocking a Seamless Life lies with intelligent technology that gives them control through simple, refined, innovative functionality – be it during working hours, workout and leisure time or at home. We at Siemens Home Appliances are committed to developing products that go beyond the traditional role of household appliances and turn the dream of a Seamless Life into a reality for our consumers around the world.”