How Does Your Gadget Grow?

Retrevo, an online reviews site and marketplace for all things tech, conducted a survey of its users earlier this year to help determine the distribution of technology use in the U.S. and abroad.  Given that it surveyed only its users, at first glance I am inclined to think the results will be biased toward the highly tech literate.  Nonetheless, as a first look into this set of data, the results are interesting and perhaps quite useful.image credit to
Perhaps unsurprisingly, my prior state of California and home of San Francisco came out on top of the two green categories, winning the Most Likely to have Recycled a Gadget in the last year (47% more likely than the average home in other states), the Most Likely to have Energy Efficient Gadgets, and the Most Likely to Stream TV Content.

Slightly more surprising, perhaps, was Michigan coming in Most Likely to have a Point-and-Shoot Camera.  I’m not sure what this says about Michigan; maybe people in Detroit have taken up photography with all their free (read: unemployed) time, or maybe they’re just technological laggards who haven’t moved on to the all-in-one iPhone or Droid phones.

Besides being a purely interesting exercise, where could this new data lead us?  In particular, for Living Labs’ interests, it provides a great basis for investment in technological solutions to city services.  If people in Phoenix aren’t comfortable with new mobile technologies, then we shouldn’t try to employ mobile parking tools there.  However, if San Francisco is going through gadgets so quickly they’re already recycling them, maybe we should focus our efforts there.  The whole point of having a global network of innovators is to spread that innovation globally; the strategy of how to do that will depend on the marketability of ideas in each market.  Thanks, Retrevo!

-Terra Curtis