(Corrects paragraph 1 to remove reference to 2019 comparison)
(Reuters) -The pandemic has bolstered the use of gadgets in an average U.S. household to 25 connected devices, including laptops, smartphones, streaming devices, smart TVs, headphones and gaming consoles, according to a Deloitte report.
The home has become the center of activities with children learning and playing games online and adults working from home, juggling video calls, shopping digitally and conducting doctors’ appointments virtually.
“The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic was like a time machine that suddenly propelled us tens of years into the future,” said Paul Silverglate, vice chairman at Deloitte, the multinational professional services company.
“It has changed how we interact with our connected devices, ultimately helping consumers, healthcare providers, education professionals, technology innovators and others adapt, innovate and thrive in our daily lives,” he said.
Fitness has surfaced as a key theme in the Deloitte survey with 58% households having a smartwatch or fitness tracker, while 14% of the device owners bought their fitness gadgets after the start of the pandemic.
About 55% of the people use their gadgets to measure walking steps and athletic performance, track heart health and monitor sleep and calories.
Despite the increase in the number of devices, one-third of survey respondents admit to feeling overwhelmed by the devices and subscriptions they need to manage.
(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee, European Technology & Telecoms Correspondent, in Stockholm; Editing by Howard Goller)