MWC 2024: What Britons think of smart rings, robot dogs – and more
March 8th, 2024, Christien Pheby

MWC 2024: What Britons think of smart rings, robot dogs – and more

Mobile World Congress has finished for 2024, and alongside the usual array of smartphone upgrades, iPhone/Android apps, and VR gizmos were a host of high-tech concepts and prototypes that aren’t yet ready for the mass market. But just how interested are the public in actually using these products?

YouGov asked 2,000 Britons about some of the biggest announcements of MWC 2024. Here’s what they said.

Two in five Britons interested in “smart ring” fitness trackers 

One of the more-hyped announcements was Samsung’s Galaxy Ring – which doesn’t yet have a firm release date, but nevertheless attracted widespread media coverage at the event. Our data shows that it’s one of the more exciting concepts for British consumers, 41% of whom said they would be interested in using a wearable “smart ring” to track health and fitness.

What’s more, as a fitness tracker, it may hold more appeal for the general public than a smart watch. Nearly half (48%) of Britons say they’d be more interested in a health and fitness tracker if it was in ring form compared to a wrist-mounted device, with just 24% saying they would be less interested. That said, the public are less keen when it comes to using smart rings for payments (a potential feature, rather than a confirmed one at this point): 23% say they would be interested, while 73% would not.

Another announcement from MWC 2024 was the idea of an “app-free” smartphone that would use AI to handle all the user’s needs. Just 33% of Britons are interested in a single AI app replacing all smartphone apps, which may have something to do with suspicion of AI apps in a broader sense: ask Britons if they would be comfortable installing one on their phone, and by 48% to 38%, they say no.

One of the more headline-grabbing ideas from MWC 2024 was Motorola’s concept for a bendable smartphone that can be worn on the wrist. But coverage won’t necessarily translate to popular enthusiasm: just 30% of Britons are interested in the idea. Same goes for laptops with fully transparent displays. It has been suggested that they might have useful applications for, say, graphic designers – who’ll be able to trace over objects in their environment using a see-through display – but just 26% of the wider public are into the idea.

Finally, we come to robot dogs – Tecno debuted a new high-tech hound that could respond to spoken commands and be remote-controlled via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. He can also reach a reported speed of 8.2 miles per hour. Nevertheless, just 15% of Britons would have a mechanical mutt for a pet; making it the least popular of all the MWC concepts we polled.

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YouGov polled 2000 British adults online on 29 February – 1 March 2024. The survey was carried out through YouGov Surveys: Self-serve. Data is weighted by age, gender, education level, region, and social grade. The margin of error is 2%  for the overall sample. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Self-serve.