Cox Study: Three Out of Five People Would Pay More in Taxes for Tech to Improve Quality of Life in Their Communities

Originally published on

Americans want smart cities, and they want them now.

According to a blind survey commissioned by Cox Business, more than half of respondents said they do not consider where they live to be a smart city and nearly 60 percent would pay more in taxes if their local government deployed technology solutions that improved quality of life.

Specifically, respondents want to see advanced technology deployed to improve energy efficiency, traffic management and emergency services in their communities. However, these aren’t the only areas where respondents value the use of smart technology solutions. For example, 72 percent of respondents said it would give them greater peace of mind if their primary physician used electronic medical records to chart their healthcare progress during visits instead of pen and paper charts.

While most respondents indicated their primary care physicians do not currently offer telehealth services, 45 percent said they would increase the frequency with which they had consultations if telehealth services were offered. Seventy percent of those who have used telehealth services with their physician said the experience was easy.

Virtual visits aren’t limited to doctors’ appointments. A quarter of respondents said their children’s school offers virtual conferencing for parent-teacher conferences. Seventy percent said they had access to a mobile app or online tool that enabled remote monitoring of their children’s performance – which most monitor often.

Seemingly, respondents are also okay with retailers monitoring them. Fifty-six percent of respondents said they would give their favorite retailer more information about themselves if the retailer could use the information to better personalize the shopping experience. Sixty-one percent said real-time, personalized discounts sent to their phone would improve the in-store shopping experience for them.

Improving the guest experience at hotels is also a tap away according to the survey. More than one-third of respondents said an in-room tablet, such as an iPad, with functionality to control lights, temperature, entertainment and room service would be the top technology to improve their stay. Runners up included complimentary Netflix and digital room keys.

“Our goal for this survey was to unearth various ways people are relying on technology, what’s working well and what could be improved. The results show, from healthcare to hospitality, technology is simplifying our lives in ways we never could have imagined,” said Steve Rowley, executive vice president, Cox Business. “While there is still a long way to go with regards to tech deployment in historically slow to implement industries like government and education, these findings show a lot of progress toward smarter cities and smarter businesses.”