Americans not only know how to operate the high-tech gadgets they own, but are embracing new products such as digital cameras, DVD players and even CD burners with open arms. A new study by NFO WorldGroup, one of the world's leading providers of research-based marketing information and counsel, found that home entertainment products (TVs, VCRs and stereo systems) ranked the highest in terms of ease-of-use and understanding, while mobile phones scored the lowest.
Key findings of the national survey of nearly 3,000 participants, include:
60% are fully capable of programming their VCR, but are less than certain when it comes to operating their mobile phone (56%) and home computer (56%). Advanced electronics are catching on quickly: 42% own a DVD player; 35% a digital camera, and 38% a CD burner. Palm Pilots and MP3 players rank the highest as items that people are hesitant to purchase because of their complexity.
Home security systems are the least common item to own and one of the more complex: 69% of respondents do not have one and of those who do, 55% are less than certain of how to operate it. 47% of the respondents indicate that they would attempt to fix a malfunctioning electronic item themselves, whereas only 9% say they would take it to a repair shop.
Midwesterners outrank residents of other regions nationwide in their ability to operate household electronics; 70% of Midwesterners know how to operate all of their VCR's features as compared to 53% of Northeasterners.
Who knows their gadgets best? Adults younger than the age of 35 are masters when it comes to their television, VCR, stereo, remote control, mobile phone, answering machine microwave and computer, while older adults are only better with their home security systems. The study also found that in most instances, men, especially African American men, are better than women when it comes to understanding how to operate gadgets, with the exception of the microwave and answering machine.
Additionally, Americans are not hesitant about purchasing new gadgets that they have little knowledge of operating, with home security systems leading the list at 72.6%. And, when consumers are attempting to learn how to use their new gizmo, 86.9% of them will turn to the instruction manual for guidance, as opposed to teaching themselves or having someone else teach them how to use their new electronic item.
This study was conducted January 10-22 by NFO WorldGroup and was weighted to be representative of U.S. households based on key Census demographics. NFO WorldGroup also conducts the monthly surveys for The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index.
Home Security : Your Guide to Protecting Your Family - Shows how to identify and plug security leaks around and throughout your house. Helps you identify the right system for you home and budget. How to choose, buy and install effective home security devices.
Security Systems for Your Home and Automobile
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Home Security - This guide tells you all you need to know about keeping your home and family safe. The author, a former FBI agent and security expert, gives you the skinny on everything from basic systems to inexpensive measures you can install yourself. He also tells parents what's legal and what's not in the area of nanny-cams and monitoring. By Tom Davidson, Lorna Gentry, Steve McVey.
Home Security : Alarms, Sensors and Systems - This book explains the pros and cons of alarm systems, including how to avoid faults, and find them if they occur. By Vivian Capel