Are You A Cyborg? New Research From Telus Suggests You May Be

What goes through your mind when you hear the term ‘cyborg’? It probably evokes dystopian futures and sci-fi characters like the Terminator. But the truth is with wearable technology becoming increasingly prevalent, cyborgs already surround us, from grandmas with Fitbits to friends with virtual reality headsets, they’re not as intimidating as we may think. 

Telus wanted to explore how advanced Canadians actually are when it comes to integrating technology to enhance their lives. Telus’ national survey discovered that, with almost 30 per cent of Canadians owning a wearable device, you could say that many of us are, by definition, cyborgs!

More than 3 in 4 Canadians (78 per cent) think that people are too dependent on technology.

Despite this, the majority of Canadians believe that:

  • Technology can help people overcome physical limitations/disabilities (76 per cent)
  • Technology makes their lives easier (65 per cent)
  • Technology improves our lives (64 per cent)
  • Technology makes life more enjoyable (57 per cent)

A world filled with cyborgs is not inconceivable to Canadians.

  • One in 4 Canadians (24 per cent) agree that humans are becoming cyborgs
  • One in 10 Canadians (11 per cent) actually want to be cyborgs
  • Five per cent of Canadians think they might be cyborgs

One in 3 Canadians (34 per cent) are afraid that our devices will develop minds of their own. However, the benefits of “cyborg” technology are appealing to Canadians.

  • One in 2 Canadians (48 per cent) would be interested in enhancing their physical abilities with technology
  • One in 2 Canadians (47 per cent) would wear technology that made them more productive
  • More than 1 in 3 Canadians (35 per cent) would be interested in improving their athletic performance with technology

Many Canadians indicate they “must own” wearable technology devices that help them enhance their physical and mental abilities.

  • One in 4 Canadians (26 per cent) said they must have a wearable device that could help them lose weight
  • One in 3 Canadian women (33 per cent) said they must have a wearable device theat could help them lose weight. An additional 38 per cent said they really want one
  • One in 5 Canadians (21 per cent) said they must have a wearable device that helps them overcome physical limitation/disability and another 18 per cent said they must own a device that gives them superhuman strength
  • One in 10 Canadians (11 per cent) went as far as saying they must have a wearable device that helps them drive a vehicle with their minds

We may be closer than we think to living in a world dominated by “cyborg” technologies. Three in 10 Canadians (29 per cent) currently own a wearable technology device.

  • More than 1 in 10 Canadians (12 per cent) own more than one wearable technology device
  • More than 4 in 10 Canadians (43 per cent) with annual household incomes of $100K or more currently own a wearable technology device, almost twice as many than those with incomes of less than $50K (25 per cent)
  • Significantly more women (32 per cent) own a wearable technology device than men (27 per cent) in Canada
  • Thirty-seven per cent of 18-34 year old Canadians own at least one wearable technology device compared with 32 per cent of 35-54 year olds and 20 per cent of 55+ year olds

Almost 1 in 5 Canadians (18 per cent) own a wearable fitness tracker, making it the most popular wearable technology device

  • Wearable fitness trackers are more prevalent in Western Canada (21 per cent) and Ontario (20 per cent) than Quebec (11 per cent)
  • Twenty per cent of Canadian women own a wearable fitness tracker, compared to 15 per cent of Canadian men

Certain wearable technology devices appeal to different genders

  • Almost twice as many Canadian men (13 per cent) said they want to own a virtual reality headset, compared to their female counterparts (7 per cent)

One in 10 Canadians claim they either need or want to own the following wearable technology devices:

  • Virtual reality headset (12 per cent)
  • Wearable fitness trackers (11 per cent)
  • Smart watches (10 per cent)

Methodology:

The online survey was conducted on September 28, 2016. The nationally representative sample consisted of 1,514 Canadians aged 18+. Results were broken out by region, gender, age, income, and education in order to make demographic comparisons. Respondents were sourced from The Angus Reid Forum panel and the research was facilitated by MARU/Matchbox. The margin of error for the sample is estimated to be +/- 2.5 per cent.

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