CHICAGO: Interest in connected devices is higher than ever, with one third of digital consumers planning to increase spending on these items over the next 12 months, according to a new report.

Accenture's 2014 Digital Consumer Technology Survey polled more than 6,000 consumers in six countries – Australia, Canada, India, South Africa, the UK and the US – about their interest in buying various consumer electronics devices.

The business services firm found that consumers "craved more devices", with many planning to purchase more categories of devices in addition to purchasing more in the categories they already owned.

Multi-function devices dominated, with every fifth consumer indicating they intended to buy one more smartphone, HDTV and tablet.

On top of that, 29% suggested they were going to replace their smartphone, while between 10% and 11% planning the same for their existing HDTVs and tablets. The proportion entering the market for the first time was rather lower, at 4% for smartphones, 9% for HD-Vs and 11% for tablets.

The Accenture report also said that consumers were gravitating towards "new functionality enabled by wearable technology". Across the six countries surveyed, some 46% of respondents expressed interest in buying a smartwatch, while 42% were interested in wearable eyeglasses.

This figure rose to more than 70% of early adopters. "For these consumers wearable technology crystallizes a complete digital lifestyle," the report noted.

The "appification" of everything was another trend observed, with the study finding that every app it asked about – from cameras and GPS driving to radio and TV – was already used or planning to be used by more than half of respondents.

Meanwhile, the "highly personalized constellations of digital products and services" being created by consumers had significant implications for consumer electronics companies, said Accenture.

These firms would have to understand just how consumers were building their preferences and how their products and services fulfilled the needs of each consumer segment, the report suggested. They would then have to develop a rich engagement strategy, where both parties could both give and receive value.

Accenture added that consumer interest in wearables highlighted the need for investment in product innovation.

At the Consumer Electronics Exhibition, the tech trade show taking place this week in the US, Intel was doing just that, revealing a smartwatch, a smart earbud, connected to and powered through a phone's audio jack, and a smart "onesie".

CEO Brian Krzanich also announced a contest for the best wearable design, offering $1.3m in prizes.

Data sourced from Accenture, PC World; additional content by Warc staff