A quarter of Irish respondents to a recent survey admitted that they only know how to use certain parts of their tech devices.
Although one in 10 Irish people never read user manuals, one in two believe their lifestyle would improve if they knew how to get more use out of their gadgets, according to the research by technology brand Bush.
The top technology challenges were revealed by the research include: Understanding what the cloud is (59%), Streaming music and films (46%), Using wearable technology (43%), Connecting to tablets and smartphones via Bluetooth (37%), and Understanding all the different programmes on the washing machine (28%).
The research also found that over a quarter of Irish people have between €251-€500 worth of unused gadgets in the home, while 16% admit their stash of unused tech ranks between €501-€1,000.
Andy Robertson, family technology expert who has worked with Bush to devise a series of life hacks to help Irish people get the most out of their gadgets, said: “Young people are the most confident when it comes to understanding technology, but for parents or grandparents born in a generation where the cloud referred to something in the sky, and a stream led to a river, it can be a bit harder to work out the quickest way to access your files remotely, or how to stream the latest box office film on your TV.
“There is so much untapped potential in the gadgets and appliances that we use every day, so I have developed some life hacks on how to get the most out of technology – whether you are using it for work, having a night in front of the TV, or cleaning up.”
Some of Andy’s top tech life hacks include:
* Banish any frozen pictures and sound delay for good when streaming movies by accessing a secret menu in Netflix to increase the buffering rate. This means more of the programme will be downloaded before it plays. Before you begin, simply press ctrl and alt on your browser, or the up and down arrows on your remote control to adjust it.
* Save time usually spent manually backing up photos and other files from your smartphone or tablet on to other devices by enabling the ‘auto-sync’ feature in settings. Thanks to the cloud, which allows you to access files from any device, anywhere, your files can now be saved and stored instantly.
* Bluetooth speakers are great for creating impact, but it makes a big difference depending on where you place them in the room. For a fully immersive experience when watching the big match or a blockbuster movie, try positioning them behind or at the side of the sofa to feel like you’re there in real time.
* Make clothes last longer by swotting up on your washing machine knowledge - 20 to 30 degrees preserves brights and darks, 40 to 50 degrees cleans everyday items, while 60 is a must for bedding and towels.
The research for Bush was carried out by Opinion Matters between October 2 and 10, 2015, amongst 502 Irish adults.