The untapped potential of technology in British homes

Research commissioned by Centrica has highlighted that busy Brits are suffering ‘gadget confusion'.

Baffled by the number of buttons, symbols and switches, millions of Brits say they don’t’ have the time to read instructions and are wasting £1,324 worth of technology in their homes.

Three quarters confessed to being confused by gadgets, with eight in 10 using a ‘trial and error’ approach to using their devices and appliances.

One fifth don’t have the time to figure out how things work, and more than a third can’t be bothered to try different settings or options.

Three in four will purchase gizmos and gadgets and completely disregard the instructions, leaving half only knowing how to use the basic settings on their tech.

Tom Guy, Global Product Director at Centrica Hive, said: “Technology needn’t be scary, especially with the number of innovative smart devices out there now.

“Our research shows how modern life leaves a number of Brits without the time or patience to get to grips with their tech, but smart devices in the home like thermostats, cameras and sensors are created to make life easier and give peace of mind.”

Brits ‘guess’ their way to using their tech because one third think it’s too complicated and one fifth admitted they will forget what they’ve read.

As a result, the average Brit will use just 26 per cent of their mobile phone settings and apps.

Of the 17 per cent who currently own a smart speaker, half won’t use their device for anything other than listening to music.

Six in 10 are making life harder for themselves by manually changing their heating preferences as they don’t know how to set the timer on their home thermostat.

And nearly a third had no idea their microwave has pre-programmed settings to help them cook things like jacket potatoes or fish hassle-free.

One sixth of adults don’t know which way to turn the dial in their fridge to change the temperature, with more than a third sticking to the same cycle on their dishwashers.

And half won’t veer away from the same single setting on their iron.

Brits use an average of just two settings a month on their dishwashers, as they understand less than half of the functions available to them.

The research found 82 per cent wished technology was easier to understand; with seven in 10 in agreement manufacturers could do more to make their devices easy to understand.

Nearly three quarters have been amazed by someone else showing them a new ‘trick’ or setting on their gadgets.

And despite half the nation owning a piece of smart tech, an equal number of Brits think smart technology is too complicated to understand.

Tom Guy at Centrica Hive added: “We work with customers to develop smart home Hive products that are affordable, easy to use and make a difference to their lives. This is key to enable more Brits to make full use of the tech in their homes both now and in the future.”