Nielsen: wearables still most worn by early adopters

March 20, 2014
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The topic of wearables seems to be gaining more and more traction lately. While it is known and understood within the tech community, a recent Connected Life Report from Nielsen shows that it is fairly well known outside the tech community. Of those surveyed, 70 percent report knowing what wearables are.

Not nearly as many are actually using wearable technology though. The report cites one in six, about 15 percent (of the 70 percent), actually using any wearable tech. The more common items here include fitness bands and smartwatches. Not quite as surprising here, those who are using a wearable at this stage often consider themselves to be an early adopter.

The report shows the breakdown as 75 percent of those consider themselves an early adopter with the remaining 25 percent falling in as "mainstream." Also not as surprising here, of the wearable tech being worn by those who took part in the survey -- 61 percent of the wearables were fitness bands, 45 percent were smartwatches and 17 percent were mobile health related.

Of those three types, 57 percent of the fitness band users reported wanting more ability to self-monitor. Keeping with the fitness bands, 70 percent of users reported looking first and foremost for accuracy, with 64 percent of the users citing battery life as a key feature. The smartwatch crowd were looking to supplement a smartphone addiction and for convenience. This group is said to be looking for functionality and comfort as the key factors.

All that having been said, while only one in six of the surveyed group may be wearing a wearable at this stage -- it seems many more are interested. Key pieces here touched on price and design as being key holdbacks. Of the group surveyed, 73 percent wish they were less expensive, and 62 percent wish they had wearable options that expanded beyond the current wrist band and watch form factors. Of course, those in the early adopter crowd already realize other form factors are available, and also in the works.


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