You rang? Report finds Canadian 'generation D' expect apps to act as butlers

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TORONTO, CANADA: Canadians are not only embracing the technology that keeps them connected, but they clearly depend on it. Twenty-eight per cent would be willing to skip their morning coffee in exchange for anytime, anywhere Iinternet.


And, it's not just smartphones, tablets and computers keeping them connected - Canadians are already heavy users of accessories and customized apps, and expect technology to be even more integrated into their lives within the next five years.

According to the latest Rogers Innovation Report, commissioned by Rogers Communications and conducted by Harris-Decima, Canadians are optimistic about the future; from virtual butlers to communicating with pets, they envision a world where technology will unleash a connected reality beyond one's imagination.

Nearly half (39 percent) of Canadians believe virtual communication will replace face-to-face interactions and half (50 percent) expect to converse exclusively through text, social media and email in the next five years.


"Enhanced networks are leading to a rise in internet usage in Canada, creating 'Generation D' - a group that lives and breathes life through mobile devices and that shares an optimistic view of what's next," said Raj Doshi, senior VP, products, Rogers Communications. "Over the next few years, technology will continue to shift into high gear, offering consumers completely personalized connected experiences anytime, anywhere."

Canadians are becoming a Device Generation or 'Generation D'. Today, the majority (52 percent) owns a smartphone and they're not letting go, spending an average of 70 percent of the day with their phone within reaching distance. Social media on smartphones reached new heights this year, with a quarter (25 percent) of Canadians admitting to Tweeting or Facebooking someone while in the same room; not surprisingly, over half (52 percent) of Gen Y tapped into this trend.

Canadians also had quite the 'app-etite' in 2013; their smartphones and tablets included a buffet of twenty-five apps on average. Some of the most popular apps were Snapchat for Gen Y (46 percent) and Facebook (74 percent) for the majority of Canadians.


Looking ahead, Canadians envision an increasingly virtual reality, powered by tailored apps and faster networks. From connected closets to cars, virtual wallets and interactive TV, here is a snapshot of what Canadians' expect in the future:

Connected concierge: Over a third (39 percent) expect apps to become their butler, to draw baths, cut the lawn, vacuum and even do their laundry.

An app a day could keep the doctor away: Over half (52 percent) believe apps will connect them to physicians and 31 percent think apps will even predict life threatening health issues.


Mind e-reader: Even a quarter (25 percent) expect their devices to read their mood and help them communicate with their pets.

Steer clear: A majority (84 percent) believe that cars will anticipate accidents and provide weather alerts.

Cut the plastic and tap into purchases: By 2019, over half (61 percent) of Canadians expect to throw out their physical wallets, to be replaced with mobile wallets that include credit and debit cards, and personal ID.


Choose your own adventure: almost half (49 percent) of TV viewers will take to social media to alter a show's plot by voting in real-time.

Character copycat: Today, we love Don Draper, and tomorrow we'll look like him. The majority of Canadians (64 percent) believe they will eventually purchase products directly from live programming.

Canadians are a step ahead, envisioning the possibilities that gadgets and apps could bring to the future. While, 48 percent need to play catch-up and get on-board with smartphone technology, 'Generation D' already anticipates the smartphone of 2019 that includes retina scanners (53 percent), built in projectors (25 percent), augmented reality (46 percent) and 3D screens (33 percent).

Continuing with the connected trend, one quarter (25 percent) of Canadians see themselves sporting at least two connected accessories within the next five years.