On Device & CCS find high awareness of wearable tech
Some very interesting insights into the wearable technology/smartwatch sector from On Device Research. The company recently surveyed over 1,500 smartphone owners in the USA and UK in conjunction with telecoms analyst, CCS Insight. For example, 64 per cent of smartphone owners have heard of smartwatches. Virtually no-one owns a smartwatchnow but 21 per cent (of those smartphone owners) plan to buy one by Xmas. In fact, less than five per cent of those surveyed own or have owned either a smartwatch or a fitness tracker.
On Device Research points out, for example, that smartwatches face tough competition from tablets and affordable Android smartphones in the run up to Xmas. And we don’t even know if the iWatch will be launched before Xmas by Apple!
What’s very worrying, though is that 45 per cent of smartwatch owners stopped using it because they forgot to wear it or have already got bored with it.
Nonetheless awareness of wearable technology is surprisingly high although UK appears to be lagging behind USA.
“Nearly half of those surveyed in the US had heard about Google Glass. This is very high for a product that isn’t even commercially available at the moment,” observed Siim Teller, marketing manager with On Device Research.
Ben Wood, chief of research with CCS Insight (and ex-Mobile Streams), adds, “Companies making these devices need to ensure their products remain exciting for users once the initial enthusiasm ebbs.”
Furthermore, wearable devices need to be comfortable, attractively designed, easy to use and have great battery life,” Wood said.
Hence, manufacturers have to break out of the typical early-adopter, technology savvy male audience to go mainstream with devices like smartwatches and even Google Glass.
One of the problems could well be with pricing such devices correctly. CCS Insight estimates such products will cost between $200 and $300.
Wood argues that since many consumers are used to getting their smartphones ‘free’ with a contract, that sort of price level is a high sum to pay on top.