Consumers Not Sold On Wearable Tech

Consumers are not lacking in awareness when it comes to Google Glass and Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch. But they’re still not convinced they need the technology.

According to a new study from TNS, three-quarters of consumers are aware of wearable computing devices, but fewer than 10% are interested in using them.

“There’s not much product on the market to pick up and test,” Tom Buehrer, senior vice president at TNS, tells Marketing Daily. “People are afraid they’re going to cost a lot of money and they’re even more concerned with the privacy issues, particularly around health information.”

According to the study of 1,000 U.S. consumers, more than half (55%) of consumers said they thought wearable devices would be too expensive, and 24% think they already have too many devices. Nearly a third (31%), said they were worried about privacy.

“The companies that want to be successful will want to assure the user the information is their own and is not being shared with the aggregate,” Buehrer says.

Consumers are also concerned about the devices’ comfort level. The majority of consumers (52%) would prefer to have a wrist-based device, such as a smartwatch or bracelet, while about a quarter would prefer an armband. Bad news for Google Glass, however: Only 5% of consumers said they would want to wear a device on their eyes.

Despite these reservations, consumers are showing signs of coming around for wearable devices. While purchase intent has not increased with the introduction of more devices, interest in learning more has jumped 6%, according to TNS. At the same time, more than a third of consumers (34%) indicated that they would wear such devices to monitor their health.

The interest in devices with such a clear purpose (like those for health monitoring) may illuminate the path for marketers of other wearable devices, Buehrer says.

“It’s not all that clear yet, which people will adopt these devices and which devices they’ll adopt,” he says. “[Consumers need to know] what does it deliver and what benefits can I derive from it.”

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3 comments about "Consumers Not Sold On Wearable Tech".
  1. Zachary Cochran from CPXi , September 13, 2013 at 10:52 a.m.
    Jawbone UP. I pretty much love mine.
  2. Randy Kirk from Randy Kirk & Associates , September 13, 2013 at 11:51 a.m.
    I have absolutely no interest in a smart watch. I will be first in line to buy an iWatch. Everyone I know who is an Apple fan wants an iWatch. You have to ask the right question.
  3. Doug Garnett from Atomic Direct , September 13, 2013 at 4:55 p.m.
    When this kind of stuff succeeds, it's not going the fact that it's "wearable" that makes it good... It's going to be the fact that it does something really useful. So far, I'm not seeing enough us for Google Glass to be anything more than the Segway of gadgets or the Samsung watch to be...um...anything.