Wearables In College: Students Want Accuracy, Battery Life, Price; Brand Takes A Back Seat

When it comes to wearables, college students are interested in tracking fitness and social integration of their tracking goals.

The college market also might differ from the general population when it comes to attitudes toward wearables.

Compared to the general population, which places brand name in the top three drivers for purchasing a wearable, college students don’t list brand name as a factor within the top five drivers for purchase, according to a new study.

The study by Phoenix Marketing International comprises a survey of more than 1,000 students enrolled at more than 500 colleges and universities across the U.S.

Accuracy, battery life and price are the top three factors that college students are interested in, according to the study.

When it comes to features in fitness trackers specifically, half of students said they use the devices to compete or share fitness tracking results with friends. This could be an area for brands to focus their efforts, according to John Schiela, president of Phoenix Converged Technology and Media.



“There is a great potential opportunity for an innovative firm to develop a college or university challenge, in which users of their device compete with other universities for virtual and real prizes,” Schiela told the IoT Daily.

The challenge in implementing such a socially-driven feature set for the college market would be maintaining importance over other new product enhancements, according to Schiela.

“Fitbit may be best positioned to exploit a messaging and advertising campaign around the staying connected and social media services,” he told the Daily.

“Their platform currently works well with both the family and group social challenges and could most likely be easily adapted to the college level ones.”

Fitbit currently offers ‘Challenges’ in its app that let consumers battle each other based on their fitness metrics. However, the brand also recently added new features that appear to push the brand’s offerings in a more personalized, non-competitive direction.

The study found that 32% of students currently own a smartwatch or fitness tracker and 16% said they plan to purchase one within the next three months.

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