Nearly three quarters of consumers are now aware of wearable technology devices and one in six, in the US at least, are already sporting a fitness band, health tracker or smartwatch. However, if the gadgets hope to go mainstream they are going to have to be as stylish and affordable as they are functional. Also Read - Apple led the growing wearable pack in Q4 2020, Xiaomi followed
Nielsen’s latest study into the state of the wearable technology market in the US reveals that the devices are starting to appeal to younger consumers. Also Read - Garmin Venu SQ series of smartwatches launched in India: Price, availability, features
Of the 15 percent of the 3,956 respondents that claim to already use the gadgets, 48 percent are under 35 and there is a roughly 50:50 split between men and women. But as well as being younger, financial security is also a defining factor among early adopters, with 29 percent of wearable technology adopters earning $100,000 or more a year. Also Read - Xiaomi Mi Watch Revolve with up to 14 days battery life launched in India for Rs 10,999
And cost appears to be a serious obstacle that these devices are going to have to overcome if they want to become the next big thing. While 70 percent of US consumers are now aware of wearable technology and nearly half of those surveyed expressed an interest in buying their first wearable tech device this year, 72 percent of all respondents said they wished they were less expensive.
Current designs are also a big issue — 62 percent of those surveyed wish that the devices came in forms other than wristbands and watches, and over half (53 percent) want them to look more like pieces of jewelry.
As for existing early adopters, fitness bands are the most popular device (61%) followed by smartwatches (45%) and mobile health devices (17%). And their thoughts and feeling about the gadgets mirror the views of those yet to make a purchase.
Smartwatch owners say that the device had to meet their needs and their sense of style. While the top reason for buying the device was convenience, the biggest consideration for choosing which make or model was functionality (81%), followed by comfort (79%).
For fitness band owners, accuracy (70%) and battery life (64%) are the biggest considerations when choosing a specific model but the greatest motivation behind adopting wearable tech was found to be the ability to self-monitor.