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Consumers unconvinced about wearable technology

18 December 2013

SHOPPING HABITS. The UK may be excited about new wearable gadgets such as smart watches and wearable cameras, but according to a new survey from Canadean Custom Solutions, wearable tech is still in its early adoption stage. 

According to a new survey from Canadean Custom Solutions, the overall awareness level of wearable tech is high among UK consumers. Awareness was particularly high among products in the communication sector, such as smart watches (51%), and smart glasses (41%), as well as among products which can record activity in health and fitness, such as smart monitors (39%).

However, wearable tech is not used by the majority just yet. Although the overall awareness level is high, the findings suggest that wearable tech is still in its early adoption stage: 46% think that the market for wearable technology is too new to become fashionable in 2014 with less than one in 10 (7%) thinking that it will become a ‘must have’ in the next twelve months. 

According to the survey, many UK consumers are still reluctant to buy wearable tech within the next 12 months, such as smart watches (66%) and smart glasses (71%). However, products which are used in a monitoring capacity, for example, the recording of health and fitness data are more appealing to consumers, presumably because this type of information is not available from the devices they currently use. A quarter of adults (25%) say they will consider buying smart socks, smart shoes (16%) and smart monitors (17%) within the next 12 months.

Watches and sportswear brands as well as electronics companies have all been working hard to come up with the newest ‘must have’ in the field of wearable tech. Sports brands such as Nike, Adidas, Jawbone and Fitbit have launched products such as wristbands, watches and smart soles that can send analytics and fitness levels to your phone app. 

This year Google launched its Google Glass Project and other smaller upstarts are working with similar projects such as Memoto’s wearable camera that will document the highlights of your day in images.

Research Manager at Canadean Custom Solutions, Emma Herbert says: “While consumer awareness of wearable technology is growing, the type of product that will appeal to them in the short term will have features that cannot be accessed from their existing devices.  In order for overall purchasing intentions to increase, consumers will need to be convinced that products can offer tangible lifestyle benefits which not only have aesthetic appeal, but which also address current concerns around functionality and price.”

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