Smart Wearables: For the Tech Savvy Elites or Average Consumers?

POSTED BY Nitin Bhas
I recently came across a survey by BiTE Interactive on smart wearable device adoption by the US consumers. YouGov and BiTE interactive found that only one in 10 Americans who own a smartphone say they would actually wear it all the time – even if priced within their personal budget. Almost one in two (45%) fears Google Glass will be too socially awkward or too irritating to wear; and 44% do not find any of Google Glass’ known key features appealing, found the survey. While the survey addressed valid issues such as ‘social awkwardness and indifference’, I would like to point out the change in consumer behaviour and the evolution of technology adoption over the past five to ten years. The concept of wearable devices has intrigued consumers for decades and many consumers will be familiar with the concept of in-context information appearing before their eyes from films such as Terminator and Minority Report. What has changed is that these kinds of devices are now feasible and Google’s high profile demonstration of Google Glass at the 2012 Google I/O conference ensured that a large number of consumers are now aware of the possibilities. This surge in technological awareness amongst consumers means that new tech is more noteworthy than it may have been in the past, and it is much easier to generate hype for (and interest in) new products. While adoption will be low in the short to medium term, by educating and publicising such a device segment to the consumer, players such as Apple and Google will act as a catalyst to the market. However, in terms of roll outs and market traction, it will take some time – perhaps three of four years - for devices such as smart watches to become mainstream.