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Samsung: "Smart" UK leads the way for tech innovation

ITProPortal spent the morning up in the Shard with Samsung to discuss all things smart.

Rather than being used to describe a sharply-dressed or particularly bright individual, the s-word is being increasingly adopted by companies intent on emphasising the potential benefits of new technologies.

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Andy Griffiths, the president of Samsung UK and Ireland was on hand to present the findings of a report conducted by the South Korean firm, along with information gathered from the Big Innovation Centre. Entitled "Towards a Smarter Society", the paper focused on the British public's view of so-called "smart" tech.

It turns out that the average person on the street (or at least the 2,000 participants involved in the study) has a positive view of the UK technology scene.

68 per cent reckon that the UK is well on its way to becoming a smart society, with 10 per cent believing that we are ahead of other countries in this regard.

"I firmly believe the next few years will be a pivotal time for us, as a... major business in the UK," said Griffiths. "Samsung now views the UK as a pace-setter in welcoming and embracing... innovation."

Whether fairly or unfairly, the UK has long held a reputation for approaching new technologies with caution, but Griffiths thinks that this has completely changed. "The UK loves the digital age and we are embracing each development more enthusiastically than the last.

"It's clear that analogue Britain is no more. The UK is at the forefront of change."

However, it's not all sunshine and lollipops. A more-than-significant 45 per cent of respondents think that the UK requires investment, in order to be able to cope with the demands of smart technology.

The government is obviously key in this respect, and Griffiths, while gently poking fun at their capabilities, acknowledged that David Cameron and co need to take notice and push things ahead.

Regardless, ordinary consumers seem to be becoming a lot more tech-savvy. According to Samsung's findings, 41 per cent of Britons say that apps like Skype are part of their daily lives, with smart televisions (29 per cent) and smart meters (10 per cent) trailing not far behind.

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It is also encouraging to see that citizens are well aware of what new innovations can do for society. Asked what they would like to see in the future, the most popular answers were smarter traffic systems, more efficient ways to book doctor appointments, the ability to make product purchases through televised advertising and improved medical services.

Griffiths claims to feel "an overriding sense of optimism" when he looks at the UK tech landscape and said that Samsung will act on the study's results.