Intel survey finds "outlet outrage" and "peeping-techs" are new travel norms

Jun 21, 2012

A new survey conducted by Intel Corporation and commissioned by TNS to explore American attitudes towards travel and technology finds U.S. vacationers feel anxious when traveling without their mobile computing device, angry when they cannot access power sources to charge these devices and annoyed when others take uninvited glimpses of their computer screens, potentially compromising their personal information.

The "Intel Survey: Tech Norms for Travelers," exposed the deepening love affair between travelers and their Ultrabook devices, laptops and tablets, revealing Americans feel an emotional bond with these mobile devices to the point of feeling calmer and less stressed when they have access to this technology while vacationing.

Almost half (44 percent) of U.S. travelers admitted feeling anxious traveling without their mobile computing device (Ultrabook, tablet or laptop), and 87 percent of young adults (18-29 years old) feel happier when traveling with their devices. Survey respondents also ranked losing these mobile computing devices when traveling as more stressful than losing their wedding ring (77 percent vs. 55 percent).

Travelers' co-habitation with their devices has become so pervasive that they admit they will go to great lengths to keep connected. Almost half of all travelers (46 percent) and 63 percent of young travelers admit compromising their personal comfort and hygiene in pursuit of a to keep their device charged. This includes going out of their way to find an available power outlet, choosing a restaurant or coffee house based on outlet availability, searching public bathrooms or compromising comfort and hygiene to sit on the floor near an outlet. Sixty-four percent of survey respondents admitted to sacrificing their – giving up hair dryers or styling tools, toiletries, sunscreen, workout clothes and even shoes – in favor of making space in their luggage for their beloved device.

"With summer travel now in full swing, we find that many people have a few common must-have items on their trip packing lists – Ultrabook, tablet and laptop. The bond between travelers and their tech devices has strengthened greatly over the past few years with the explosion of instant information, entertainment and services conveniently available on the Web," said Mike Fard, Intel Ambassador. "Gone are the days of travel as simple escape of 'daily life' as more people seek to enhance and share vacation experiences in real-time and use technology to truly make travel more fun and more memorable."

Tech Travel Syndromes: Key Survey Findings

Today's traveler has increased expectations and views each connected minute as invaluable, desiring to create, consume and share safely with a mobile device that is easy on the eye, and the back, with style and design paired with performance and long battery life. From the introduction of Intel Centrino mobile technology in 2003 to the creation of the Ultrabook category last year, Intel has fueled the emergence of go-everywhere technology.
 
Ultrabook devices inspired by Intel feature innovations tailor-made to address the anxieties of today's traveler, alleviating "outlet outrage" with a minimum of 5 hours of battery life and instant on capabilities; providing personal security benefits through the Intel Anti-Theft Technology and Intel® Identity Protection Technology; and delivering stylish systems that are less than one inch thick and offered in touch-enabled and convertible designs later this year.
 
Tech Turbulence

-- Female travelers admit greater travel anxiety than men, being significantly more likely than male travelers to report losing their mobile computing device as very stressful (82 percent vs. 73 percent).
-- Three-quarters of all travelers surveyed bring their mobile computing device to stay connected to friends and family (75 percent), bucking the idea that dependence on technology detracts from time with family and friends.
 
Outlet Outrage

-- Sixty-three percent of young travelers admitted going out of their way to secure power for their device including compromising their comfort and hygiene by sitting on the floor (37 percent), searching public bathrooms (15 percent) or choosing a restaurant or coffee house based on outlet availability (33 percent).
-- Seventy-five percent of young travelers and 62 percent of all survey respondents are willing to pay more for a mobile computing device with longer battery life for when they travel.
-- Despite our tech addictions, 52 percent of all travelers are annoyed by the physical burdens traveling with technology brings, including heavy mobile devices, power cords and battery packs, and pulling their device out of their bag to go through the airline security check.

"Peeping-Techs" and the Fear of Device Heists

-- Forty-six percent of travelers say their biggest pet peeves about traveling with technology relates to device security, including worrying the device may be lost or stolen and someone glancing at their screen. This concern rises to 62 percent among young adult travelers.
-- Despite this reported paranoia, around one-quarter of travelers (26 percent) fail to take basic security precautions and admit to security risks including entering credit card details in public, using unsecured Wi-Fi networks, viewing sensitive documents on their device and even leaving their device unattended.
-- "Peeping-techs" are among travelers' top pet peeves. Half of American travelers (49 percent) admit getting annoyed when the behaviors of others compromise their traveling comfort and security, including screen glancing and viewing inappropriate content, with more than 29 percent of all travelers claiming they've caught fellow travelers peeping at their screens.
-- Despite "peeping-techs" topping the list of travel peeves, more than half (51 percent) of admit to peeping at someone else's screen while 33 percent of travelers admitted being a "peeping-tech."

Mile-High Manners

-- Thirty percent of all travelers do not think they need to power off their devices when they fly.
-- Thirteen percent of young travelers admit to "hogging" an available power source.
-- Men readily admit to flaunting aviation rules in pursuit of connectivity and ignoring requests to power down their devices, with more than one in 10 admitting they have ignored instructions to power off their mobile computing device when flying (13 percent) and personally have been asked by a flight attendant to power off their mobile computing device because they ignored the initial directions (11 percent).

Tech Envy

-- Six in 10 of respondents (64 percent) reported they consider their device a personal style accessory.
-- One-fifth of respondents (21 percent) admitted experiencing device envy with significantly more women than men, 34 percent vs. 22 percent, believing other looked "cooler" than their own.
 
Survey Methodology

The survey was conducted online within the United States by TNS on behalf of Intel from May 9-13, 2012 among a nationally representative sample of 2,500 U.S. adults ages 18 and older with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Respondents were asked about traveling with Ultrabook devices, tablets and laptops. For additional information on the "Intel Survey: Tech Norms for Travelers" visit www.intel.com/newsroom/?travel .

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