Commentary

Wearable Devices: A Love-Hate Relationship

As anyone who has one knows, wearable devices have a good side and a bad side.

It’s not so much that the devices themselves don’t work, since they usually do. It’s more about the challenge many consumers face in making sense of all the data that’s collected from their devices.

While the volume of data from wearables is impressive, the value is in its interpretation.

Data from wearables like fitness trackers can include all types of data, such as steps taken, heart rate, calories and sleep.

It appears there’s a rather large gap, with consumers expressing delight with their wearable device but not so much in the wearable apps that aggregate the information, based on a new study.

Interestingly, customers can have a totally different view of the device and the apps from the same company, based on an analysis of more than 136,000 customer reviews conducted by Argus Insights.

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For example, while customers expressed discontent with Jawbone bands, they prefer the Jawbone app to other popular options, which is similar to other brands.

Highest on the delight chart are devices from Samsung and Lumo Body.

Fitbit devices were high in consumer delight, but Fitbit apps only half as high.

And rating the least consumer delight were Garmin apps, Lumo Body apps and Microsoft apps.

The issue is not so much that the devices can collect the data, but rather the interpretation and display of that data back to the consumer.

Meanwhile, consumers are quite happy with many features of wearables, Here, in order, are the most loved features, topics and attributes:

  • Fitness
  • Calorie tracker
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Food tracking
  • General cardio/aerobics
  • Pedometer, step tracking
  • Sleep monitoring
  • Counting calories
  • Healthcare
  • Walking

In the two-sides-of-a-coin department, there are some features that consumers aren’t so in love with. Here, in order, are the most frustrating features, topics and attributes:

  • Sync data
  • Crash/fail
  • Returns
  • Generic durability
  • Installation/setup
  • Customer service
  • Software installation/setup
  • Notifications
  • Email
  • Stop using

All this will be resolved over time, especially as marketers aggregate and listen to customer feedback.

Any most people who have a wearable often are plenty willing to give their feedback, both the good and the bad.

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