Use of Internet of Things (IoT - Internet of Things) 2022

Executive Summary

2 out of 5 individuals used IoT (Internet of Things) equipment for personal or household use.

Use of the Internet of Things - IoT in Portugal has been increasing in recent years.  38% of individual Internet users had at least one device of personal use with Internet access in 2022 (8 percentage points more than in 2020), while 22% had at least one household device with Internet access (an increase of 3 percentage points from 2020).

From another perspective, 32% of all individuals had a device for personal use with Internet access in 2022, and 19% had a household device with Internet access.

Use of IoT equipment for personal use in Portugal was above the EU27 average in 2022, while use of IoT equipment for household use was below the EU27 average.

Smart watches, fitness bracelets, headphones and GPS were the most popular personal devices

Among the personal devices analysed, use of the following stood out: smart watches, fitness bracelets, glasses or headphones, GPS tracking equipment, clothes, shoes or accessories (33% of Internet users, +9 percentage points versus 2020), cars equipped by the manufacturer with a wireless Internet connection (10%), and Internet-connected devices for medical use and health care (10%).

Among the household devices analysed, home appliances were the most common and have become the most used (10% of Internet users); these devices are also those whose use has increased the most since 2020 (+5 percentage points). These were followed by virtual assistants (9%), equipment to manage home energy use (8%) and security solutions (7%).

Household and personal equipment with an Internet connection saw relatively more use by individuals with higher levels of education and under 45 years of age.

Lack of usefulness and cost were the main barriers to the use of IoT devices

Among users of devices connected to the Internet, 21% reported having identified a problem with their use, with emphasis on "difficulties in using the equipment" (13%) and "internet security or privacy issues" (9%).

Non-use of equipment or systems connected to the Internet was mainly due to "lack of need" (67%), "high costs" (39%) and "concerns about internet security" (31%).

23% of companies with 10 or more employees used IoT

In the business market, around 23% of Portuguese companies with 10 or more employees used interconnected devices or systems that can be monitored or controlled remotely via the Internet in 2021 (an increase of 10 percentage points from the previous year). Portugal was ranked 6 percentage points below the EU27 average, having risen from 19th to 16th place.

Use of IoT devices tends to be greater the larger the company and is above average in the case of medium-sized companies (35%) and large companies (46%). The structure of Portuguese companies may, therefore, explain Portugal’s lower use of these technologies compared to other countries.

By sector of activity, use of interconnected devices monitored or remotely controlled over the Internet exceeded the national average in the following sectors: "Electricity and Water" (41%), "Accommodation and Restaurants" (30%) and "Wholesale and retail trade" (28%).

IoT used to provide security on premises and to manage energy consumption

Portuguese companies tend to use IoT equipment mainly for “security on premises” (86%), “energy consumption management” (32%), “logistics management” (21%), “production processes” (19%), “monitoring maintenance needs” (18%) and “customer service” (13%).

Use of devices for “security of premises” in Portugal was above the EU average (+14 percentage points), and Portugal was ranked in 3rd position among EU countries. The percentage of Portuguese companies that used IoT for the purposes of “Energy consumption management” and “Production processes” was also higher than the average (+2 percentage points in both cases).