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69% of people want to connect themselves to the internet

More than two thirds of those responding to a recent survey said the 'thing' they most wanted to connect to the internet is themselves.

The survey, conducted by Premier Farnell's online design engineer community element14, was sent to 3500 adults from Australia, China, France, Germany, India, the UK and the US to find out what emerging technologies are likely to be the most popular for the future.

Of those polled, 69% said they would like to connect themselves to the internet through wearable devices such as smart glasses, watches and fitness devices.

Many of the results show that consumers are looking to improve their communities through emerging technology more than their own standard of living.

When asked what areas product developers should be focusing on, 68% of respondents chose healthcare. "Health is a big issue that arose from the survey," said Dianne Kibbey, global head of community at Premier Farnell. "Being connected to the internet means their wearables can send real time data, not only to their GPs, but also to their families, so their health can be closely monitored."

Other areas that scored highly were renewable energy (66%) and the environment (56%), with clean and affordable energy scoring 86% and 91% respectively.

The study is part of element14's 'Engineering a Connected World' initiative, which includes a series of global design challenges over the next 24 months. The challenges will focus on innovation in energy efficiency, food production and medical technology. In leading them, element14 claims it will oversee the development of more than 100 engineering concepts and prototypes.

Engineers are challenged by element 14 to come up with a good idea. Those selected are provided with what it calls 'design challenge kits' to develop their idea. After a final submission, a panel of judges determines the winners.

Tom Austin-Morgan

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