If CES 2014 were a thermometer for wearable tech, it would have indicated that manufacturers have a fever. The cure? No, not more cowbell, but rather securing a foothold in the ever-expanding realm of wearable devices. Despite the widespread marketing efforts supporting the releases of new products, consumers just aren’t buying in.
The study, conducted by Nielsen, shows that half of wearable owners are under the age of 35, split evenly between men and women. The greater majority of these people consider themselves as ‘early adopters’, and almost a third of them have disposable income due to annual salaries greater than $100k. The popular tech of choice are fitness bands, smartwatches, and mobile health devices.
So what about the rest of the population? It’s not the lack of awareness that prevents an increasing rate of wearable tech adoption. Seventy percent of consumers are aware of such devices, yet only fifteen percent actually use one. Considering that half of the people surveyed expressed interest in owning a wearable, manufacturers are missing out in a considerable way.
The greatest limiting factor is price. 72 percent of consumers said the cost of wearable tech is too high. Another 62 percent cited the lack of options, wanting choices that go beyond the wrist real estate. A little over half of the people surveyed agreed that focus needs to center more on ‘wearable’ and less on ‘tech.’ Sounds like manufacturers need to start sourcing talent from the fashion industry while making devices more affordable overall.