ShopTalk — Wearable Technology
Wearing it Well? Wearable Technology and Today’s Consumer
Wearable technology has the power to quantify personal data like few technologies can. The number of steps taken in a day. How many hours of sleep from the previous night. The number of calories consumed at lunch. How high a heart rate elevated during exercise. As increasing numbers of consumers incorporate wearables into their daily lives, the ability to uncover a deeper sense of personal understanding becomes more attainable than ever.
And the market for wearables is growing. International Data Corporation’s latest Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker estimates that the worldwide wearable device market will ship a total of 111.1 million units over the course of 2016. If this estimate proves to be true, it represents an increase of 44.4% over estimated units shipped in 2015.
To get a better sense of how and why people are using wearable technology, Vantiv and Socratic Technologies conducted a survey with 500 consumers to learn more. Here are the results.
The two most popular types of wearable technology are fitness trackers and smartwatches.
Fitness trackers are the most popular with 18% of respondents owning them. Smartwatches are the second most popular with 6% of respondents owning them.
Other types of wearable technology have not gained significant ground yet.
The least popular types of wearable technology are tracking/locating devices (3%), wearable cameras (3%), healthcare related devices (3%), and smart glasses (1%).
Smartwatches are still in the early stages of adoption…
Of the respondents that own a smartwatch, two-thirds have owned it for less than 6 months. The average length of ownership is 4.7 months.
…while fitness trackers have been around longer.
Of respondents that own a fitness tracker, 44% have owned it for more than a year. The average length of ownership is approximately 9 months.
Respondents that own fitness trackers, smartwatches, and wearable cameras are quite satisfied.
92% of respondents that own fitness trackers are satisfied with them. 88% of smartwatch owners and 73% of wearable camera owners are satisfied as well.
The most popular use of fitness trackers? Counting steps.
93% of respondents that own fitness trackers use them to count steps/miles. Other popular uses are monitoring heart rate (32%) and monitoring sleep (31%).
Women and men use fitness trackers differently.
Women are more likely to use fitness trackers to monitor their sleep (49%) versus men (19%). Women are also more likely to use trackers to remind them to get up and move (32%) versus men (9%).
Fitness trackers are often a part of users’ daily routines.
The majority of fitness tracker users (61%) use them every day. Only 1 in 10 owners use them less than once per week.
Smartwatches are an alternative to fitness trackers.
81% of respondents that own smartwatches use them to track their physical activity. Email/texting (72%) and calendar reminders (63%) are also top uses for smartwatches.
Fitness trackers are on consumers’ wish lists.
Of those respondents who don’t currently own a fitness tracker, 1 in 5 will “definitely” or “likely” purchase one in the next 6 months.
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International Data Corporation, IDC Forecasts Worldwide Shipments of Wearables to Surpass 200 Million in 2019, Driven by Strong Smartwatch Growth, 2015.