Unwrapping Wearable Devices


Those of us that were hoping to unwrap a wearable device this holiday were not alone. A recent survey indicates more consumers than ever are interested in these products, as more advanced options become available and customers understand the benefits they provide.

A survey from CEA (Consumer Electronics Assn.), www.ce.org, shows consumer interest in purchasing dedicated wearable fitness devices during the next 12 months quadrupled in 2013 to 13%. This is up from just 3% in 2012. CEA also says this represents the largest year-over-year increase for any category of fitness device.

And in addition to planning to purchase devices, many of us already own them. The survey says ownership of these devices tripled in 2013.

So why are people so interested in wearable fitness devices? According to the CEA, the top reason is motivation, which was cited by 52% of respondents. The other tops reasons were monitoring fitness goal progress and monitoring physical activity levels or intensity. For all fitness devices, consumers say they are most interested in capabilities for tracking statistics like heart rate, calories burned, and steps taken.

One product category that’s received a lot of buzz lately is the smart watch. CEA says 9% of online U.S. adults plan to purchase a smart watch in the next 12 months. According to the research, consumers may still be somewhat hesitant about smart watches, viewing them as a high-end purchase. However, consumers are most interested in smart watches for the fitness-related aspects, such as health monitoring and accessing workout routines.

Smart watches are still an emerging product category. Devices are being developed that can perform a wide variety of functions, from reading a text to sending messages among family members. Fitness capabilities have always been a strong aspect of many smart watches, but the category is also moving beyond fitness tracking to offer a wide range of functionality. Throughout the next year, many new options will likely hit the market, so if you don’t receive a wearable device this holiday, there’s plenty of opportunity to go shopping.

Want to tweet about this article? Use hashtags #wearable #devices


Connected World Issue
June/July 2014
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