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Talking to Text – Harmless or Hindering for Drivers?

June 8, 2012 1 comment

Last month we explored the idea of voice activation on mobile devices and found many smartphone and tablet owners use this feature for directions (55.2% regularly or occasionally ask for navigation help). I know I’ve done this while driving, speaking the name of the place I am looking for so I can get turn by turn instructions. I’ve also been guilty of talking to text while driving. With many states like Ohio looking to pass laws regulating the use of electronic devices while driving* (not just texting, which is already a no-no in 39 states), we wanted to know if Americans thought speaking to a device was any safer than using hands-on methods, or if voice commands were just as distracting.

The majority of Americans say it is slightly or much less dangerous to talk to a device instead of engaging in traditional hands-on activities while driving. However, 1 in 4 believes voice capabilities like talking to text bring with them the same amount of danger as talking with your fingertips:

While the different generations (Gen Y, Gen X, Boomers and Silent Generations) agree on the perceived level of danger, these age groups disagree on what specific mobile activities should be banned by law. The majority say hands on activities (texting, hands on phone calls, browsing the web, playing games, etc.) should be illegal, but older generations are most likely to also want to ban hands-free activities like talking to text. Those in Generations X and Y on the other hand, are less likely to be willing to give up talking to text, asking for directions or using other voice commands.

Perhaps members of Gen X and Gen Y are more accustomed to multitasking and technological gadgets in general while older generations are more likely to see these devices as potential distractions.

The late Ray Bradbury wrote in his novel Dandelion Wine:

Every time man and machine look like they will get on all right –boom! Someone adds a cog, airplanes drop bombs on us, cars run us off cliffs.

He may not have been able to predict how dangerous texting while driving can be (or playing Words with Friends—sadly, I’ve seen this), but he warned his readers 50+ years ago of the dangers and diversions technology can create.


*In Ohio, a law will soon take effect banning those under 18 from using ANY sort of handheld electronic device for ANYTHING. Drivers have to be pulled over first, so luckily adults like myself who look like highschoolers won’t be pulled over when making phone calls or checking a GPS 🙂


Source: American Pulse™ Survey, MAY-12 #2

© 2012, Prosper®

American Pulse™ is a trademark of Prosper Business Development.

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Mobile Users Speak…to their devices!

May 29, 2012 3 comments

Do you ever find yourself driving down the highway, asking your smartphone for directions to a restaurant or a friend’s house? 3 in 4 Mobile Users say they utilize at least some form of voice activation on their smartphones or tablets, for a variety of uses from commands (“Call Mom”) to personal assistants (“Siri, what restaurants are nearby?”), according to the latest mobile survey from Prosper Mobile Insights.

The most popular voice features are Internet searches and directions. Nearly 1 in 3 (32.0%) regularly speaks to a device to search the Web and another 20.7% ask their smartphone or tablet for directions. 14.6% say they regularly talk to text, 12.8% utilize personal assistants and 11.6% use voice commands often:

Among the 74.4% who use voice activation at least occasionally, most (63.1%) are somewhat or very satisfied with the voice capabilities on their mobile devices. However, about a fourth of this group (23.8%) is neutral—they are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. Perhaps these folks just haven’t used voice activation to the fullest? Maybe they’ve read too many autocorrect mishaps? Or maybe other smartphone and tablet features are just more alluring. Mobile Users say texting, Internet access, calling and email are the top features they can’t live without, along with GPS and of course, apps.

Even more insights are available on your tablet via the Prosper Mobile InsightCenter. You can install the app on your iPad or download to your Android™ tablet. No tablet? No problem! View the InsightCenter online here.

Android™ is a trademark of Google, Inc.

Source: Prosper Mobile Insights™ Mobile Survey, April 2012, N=328

© 2012, Prosper®

Battle of the Sexes: Keeping Up with the (Mobile) Joneses

When you buy a new smartphone or tablet, do you get excited about having the latest and greatest gadget on the market? Does that excitement fade after about a month when the next “latest and greatest” hits the shelves? You are not alone!

Overall, about 1 in 5 Mobile Users (19.4%) simply have to have a new product or upgrade when it is made available. 23.2% of men say they go out and get it these new products right away while women (15.9%) are less likely to feel the impulse:

I agree with the ladies on this one—I’d rather save my money and enjoy other parts of my life that don’t involve being glued to a gadget. It appears as though the most popular option when a new product is available is to wait for prices to drop before jumping on the mobile bandwagon.

Perhaps because men are more likely to buy the newest tech products as soon as possible, they are also less likely than women to find it difficult to stay up to date with technology upgrades. 42.3% of women somewhat/strongly agree that it is hard to keep up with new and changing technology devices vs. 37.2% of men:

I’m going to have to side with the fellas on this one, mostly because I don’t bother to try to keep up!

For more insights on mobile users, including how smartphones and tablets are used on vacation, check out our latest press release: Top Ways Mobile Users Stay “Connected” on Vacation: Personal Email, GPS & Keeping in Touch, According to Latest Mobile Survey.

Even more insights are available on your tablet via the Prosper Mobile InsightCenter. You can install the app on your iPad or download to your Android™ tablet. No tablet? No problem! View the InsightCenter online here.

Android™ is a trademark of Google, Inc.

Source: Prosper Mobile Insights™ Mobile Survey, March 2012, N=346

© 2012, Prosper®

Generation Gap: Webaholics Anonymous

Hi. My name is Randi and I am a Webaholic (along with nearly half of the American population!). According to the American Pulse™ Survey from March, 47.5% of Adults 18+ admit that they are addicted to the Internet. The World Wide Web is also the top tech addiction among all generations:

While TV is the #2 digital drug of choice among all Americans, members of Gen Y and Gen X seem more hooked on Facebook. Perhaps keeping up with friends and bartering farm animals is more addicting than tuning in to the boob tube for younger Americans.

Like many of my Gen Yers (although I hate to admit it) I am also addicted to Facebook and my smartphone. However, I can’t whole-heartedly agree with the 33.0% addicted to TV (unless you count reruns of Law & Order SVU on Netflix!). I actually cancelled my cable service a year ago and now rely on Wii streaming and DVDs via snail mail.

Similarly, if they had to choose, the vast majority of Americans (83.0%) would cut the cable and fasten to Wi-Fi. This intention spans across all generations; however, a few more members of the Silent Generation would opt to keep their cable:

Regardless of age, Internet appears to be a necessity. It’s also the more practical option—you can always watch TV episodes online!

Source: American Pulse™ Survey, MAR-12 #1, N = 3892

© 2012, Prosper®

BIGinsight™ is a trademark of Prosper Business Development.

Yep, There’s an App for That Too

February 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Smartphones are big, and tablets are even bigger, primarily due to the countless number of handy dandy apps available for download. From games, planning dinner, tracking the calories in that dinner, to connecting with friends, or even learning How to Drink Your Coffee, there’s bound to be an app for that.

But what apps do consumers really care about when it comes down to it? What about consumers in China, where the mobile market is soaring? Developers take note…it’s all about games and entertainment. For the purposes of this analysis we looked at the types of apps mobile-savvy American and Chinese Consumers ages 18-54 use most often. Despite cultural differences, games, entertainment, and social networking apps are most popular:

With gaming and general entertainment the top two types of apps in both countries, it’s clear that those little Angry Birds have global appeal. Social networking apps are also popular in both countries, with approximately 6 in 10 Chinese and American consumers connecting with friends and family via their mobile devices.

The cultural divide is apparent though once we look past gaming, entertainment, and social media. American consumers are far more likely to download apps related to weather (54.4%), radio (41.7%), and sports (31.0%) than their Chinese counterparts.  Mobile-savvy Chinese Consumers, on the other hand, are much more likely to use work-related apps focused on finance (49.4%), news (52.8%), and general business (51.2%).

Like Apps? We’ve got ‘em too. Visit www.BIGinsight.com/decisions

For more information on this data contact BIGinsight™ or ProsperChina™

Sources: BIGinsight™ Media Behaviors & Influence™ Study – DEC-11 (N=24,578); ProsperChina™ Quarterly Survey – Q4 2011 (N, 16,175)

© 2012, Prosper®

BIGinsight™ ProsperChina™ and Media Behaviors & Influence™ are trademarks of Prosper Business Development Corp.

Device Detox: Which could you do without?

February 16, 2012 Leave a comment

These days it’s hard to go anywhere without seeing someone distracted by a smartphone, tablet, MP3 player, or other device. Chances are also high that you, yourself, are addicted to some sort of gadgetry (admittedly I’ve been slightly obsessed with my NookColor lately). But could you live without those devices?

In our recent American Pulse™ survey, we asked 3,839 Americans 18+ what devices they could do without if need be, and the generation* gap in responses is quite wide. In fact, for every “new” device (think hand-held video games, eReaders, tablets, smartphones, etc.) we looked at, device dependency dwindles significantly with age:

So while the majority of Boomers and the Silent Generation said they could do without a Netbook, an MP3 player, or a smartphone, the majority of Gen Y implied they wouldn’t be able to part with these devices. The majority of Gen Xers wouldn’t be able to part ways with their smartphone either.  Further, only half of Gen Y said they could do without their hand-held video games, eReaders, and tablets.

But what about more “traditional” devices (i.e. those that have been around a bit longer)? Interestingly, with the exception of laptops, dependency on more traditional devices increases with age rather than decreases. It seems as though Boomers and Silents are less likely to be able to do without digital cameras, radios, televisions, and basic cell phones than their younger counterparts:

While only a small portion of consumers, regardless of age, could do without these more traditional devices (suggesting all consumers are dependent on some level of technology), Gen X and Gen Y would have less trouble than the Silent Generation giving up these gadgets.

But why is this? Well, perhaps because if they were forced to do without these basic devices, Gen X and Gen Y could replace their digital camera and basic cell phone with their smartphone, their radio with their MP3 player, and their television with streaming video on their tablet.

Or at least that’s what I would do…

*For the purposes of this analysis, generations were defined as follows:

  • Silent (born 1945 or earlier)
  • Boomers (born 1946 – 1964)
  • Gen X (born 1965 – 1982)
  • Gen Y (born 1983 – 1993)

For more information on this data, please contact BIGinsight™

Source: American Pulse™ Survey, January 2012 #2, N=3,839

© 2012, Prosper®

BIGinsight™ and American Pulse™ are trademarks of Prosper Business Development Corp.

An Amazonian Sized Challenge: The Smartphone and Tablet Price Check Era

February 9, 2012 1 comment

It used to be that in order for a consumer to do a price comparison it required some sort of inconvenience for them. Before the Internet, they had to drive across town or have their newspaper ads handy. Once the Internet came along, they could compare before they came in store but once they were there the options were limited.

In the smartphone and tablet era, not only can consumers compare prices between retailers while standing in a store, they can actually purchase the product from a different retailer while standing in another store.

In a survey we conducted for the National Retail Federation this past holiday season, 25.3% of Adults 18+ shopped for an item in a store and then decided to buy that same item online from a different retailer. The ability to find a cheaper price online was the overwhelming top reason for choosing the online retailer.

The convenience of shopping online was the second most chosen reason for going to a different retailer online and the item being out of stock or unavailable in the store came in third.

Another interesting insight from the January survey was about the Amazon Price Check Application. Of those who have a smartphone, 15.9% used the Amazon Price Check Application this past holiday season. I recently downloaded this app to my iPhone and tried it out. You can scan a barcode, take a picture of an item, type in the product name, or “Say It” and the app will search to find that product and give you the Amazon.com price. I took a picture of my office desk phone and it found it in seconds.

The smartphone and tablet era presents an interesting challenge for retailers that doesn’t look to be going away any time soon. New technology is always just around the corner helping to make consumers’ lives easier. What could possibly be next?

Check out the Prosper Mobile InsightCenter to find the latest smartphone and tablet consumer trends.

Source: BIGinsight™ Monthly Consumer Survey – JAN-12 (N = 9317, 1/4 – 1/11/12)

© 2012, Prosper®

BIGinsight™ is a trademark of Prosper Business Development

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