LONDON: Almost one-third of British families regularly use new technology to communicate with each other, even when family members are in the same house, new research has established.

The Families study, conducted by research agency Sparkler for Microsoft Advertising, found one in three families use smartphones and tablets to talk to each other – sometimes to announce when dinner is ready or to ask for help with homework.

The average UK home also has ten different devices, the research said, and almost six of these are connected to the internet.

Three-quarters used separate devices whilst simultaneously watching TV, a finding which Tim Lumb, a research manager at Microsoft Advertising, said should help brands to better understand how to deliver effective multi-screen strategies.

"Ensuring campaigns are relevant and useful to whatever the target audience is doing at that time and on what device is more important than ever," he said.

He also suggested that the adoption of new technology is helping to bring families together because mobile devices do not require users to leave the family living room to access their desktop PCs or static games consoles.

In other findings, as reported in Campaign, 53% of British siblings said they often used instant messaging or text messages to communicate with each other while 16% used video chats and 31% relied on social networks.

Among families, 19% of family members used social networks to communicate with each other when at home while 17% used text or instant messaging.

Lumb concluded: "Just a few years ago, texts, Facebook posts and video calls were reserved for making contact with people who couldn't be reached through traditional communication [but now] parents are embracing new technologies as a way of bringing added convenience to day-to-day tasks."

Data sourced from Microsoft Advertising, Campaign; additional content by Warc staff