Commentary

The Wearables Gap In The Internet Of Things

There’s an ever widening gap in those who buy into the Internet of Things and those who don’t.

This is not to say that marketing and business execs don’t see the import of the transformational change coming, but rather the pace of consumer adoption may not be keeping up.

The latest IDC report on the numbers around the state of the wearables market is but one example.

While some 100 million wearable devices will hit the market globally this year, the projection is down from only a few months ago.

This begs the question of whether consumers are testing the IoT waters and then stepping back.

In some ways it’s like mobile apps, except with hardware.

A consumer may download an app that seems to make sense at the moment, but within a short period of time lose interest and discard it. Deleting is so easy with software.

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In the land of Iot, a consumer may buy (or receive as a gift) a FitbBit, Jawbone or someother fitness tracker for their wrist.

Like a new app, the consumer may try it on and out and then lose interest. In this case, the wearable is simply tossed into a drawer where it continues to reside by itself.

In addition, features of fitness trackers are migrating to other devices, such as smartphones.

For example, anyone who wants to track walking distance or time can tap into Android’s Google Fit, which tracks steps taken, miles, time, average pace and calories burned. Playing to its strength, Android also provides the location where all of the walking occurred.

Several studies have noted that the abandonment rate of fitness trackers is relatively high.

But that’s a tough measurement to track, since the features are an evolving work in progress.

Ultimately, the right products will end up with the right consumers. Until then, the gap will remain.

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3 comments about "The Wearables Gap In The Internet Of Things".
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  1. Mark Kramer from US Navy, June 20, 2016 at 9:25 a.m.

    Apparently this article isn't taking the research where it needs to be done. I work around a lot of personnel who many are considered early adopters and love the "I've got the new tech!" feeling. Watching many of these same personnel, wearables do not offer enough value or flexibility to consider keeping for any length of time. The Pawn shops are quickly filling up with these devices as well as eBay and Craigs List. The resale value is pennies on the dollar. I won't purchase a wearable and this has been consensus with many of my friends/peers due to some of the following reasons:
    -Price is too high for what you recieve. Watch, timer, heart rate, distance, possiblly blue tooth with your phone. We realisticly stick with our "Smart Phones" - the Wow factor doesn't exist with the wearables. Marketing has attempted to make them something they are not
    -Customization and updates are few or non-existant
    -If we really want to acquire a wearable, we'll wait until the one we want to accept at a sutiable candidate comes available from one of the resellers as mentioned above. We'll probably utilize it then realize it doesn't give us anything we don't already have and toss it in the drawer then give it to one of our kids.
    -When one of our buddies asks if we own one - we state "Yeah I have one, it sits in a drawer at the house."
    Sincerely,
    MPKramer

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, June 20, 2016 at 10:10 a.m.

    Thanks for your comments and for sharing your personal insights around wearables, Mark, and your points about value provided are well taken. To clarify, the research cited here, and generally most of the research we base stories or commentaries on, are usually either national or global studies. They typically are quite large and often the demographics of respondents are matched against US Census data to assure it is a sample representative of the entire U.S. population. In the case of shipments of things, such as wearables here, it does not represent the actual sale of a product to a consumer, but rather the number of products heading into the marketplace to be sold. The decreased percentage cited, as we pointed out, is an indicator of lessening demand, likely for some of the reasons you mentioned. Hope this helps.

  3. Chuck Nyren from Advertising to Baby Boomers, June 20, 2016 at 4:41 p.m.

    No big surprise to me:


    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chuck-nyren/never-leave-the-hospital-_b_6097338.html

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