Report • 09.12.2014
2015: One in five Americans to purchase a wearable device
There has been a lot of hype lately around wearables, but are Americans really taking to these new technologies? In short, the answer is yes! According to recent research conducted by Ipsos MediaCT, nearly one in five American adults say they will probably or definitely purchase a wearable device of some type in the next twelve months, pushing intended category purchases ahead of other popular tech gear, including streaming media devices, eReaders and 4K TVs.
“We have been tracking consumer attitudes and device adoption for quite some time, and are excited to share our market understanding about this latest category entrant,” says Julia Roland, Vice President with Ipsos MediaCT. “The findings indicate positive news for tech gear brands: we’re seeing robust consumer enthusiasm and promising sales potential across a range of product types.”
Although wearable computers are just starting to enter the market in greater numbers, awareness levels are fairly consistent with the decade-old wearable fitness market. On an overall basis, more than four in ten adults are very familiar with wearable computers and wearable fitness monitors. Young adults lead in awareness for both wearable computers and fitness monitors.
Similar to awareness levels, the study found that purchase intent is higher among young adults (26 percent wearable computers, 31 Percent wearable fitness monitors) and current owners, those who own some kind of wearable technology (66 percent wearable computers, 45 Percent wearable fitness monitors). Men have especially taken to purchasing wearable computers (19 percent) compared to their female counterparts (8 percent), yet purchase intent is equally strong for fitness devices regardless of gender (19 percent and 18 percent, respectively).
Spouses who are hoping to receive a wearable device of their own this holiday season may have to settle for sharing with their partner: most plan to buy the devices for themselves. 35 Percent of adults will buy wearable computers for themselves and 19 percent will buy for a spouse. On the wearable fitness device front, 49 percent will buy for themselves and 26 Percent will buy for a spouse. Among parents who plan to purchase devices, 23 percent plan to buy a wearable fitness device and 14 percent plan to buy a wearable computer device for their child.
Fitness monitors and watches are the devices that consumers express the most interest in. One in five adults overall indicate that they have strong interest in fitness monitors (19 percent) and watches (23 percent), with likely purchasers being more than twice as likely to have a strong interest in these devices (56 percent and 55 percent, respectively).
“While fitness brands and watches enjoy the highest levels of consumer demand today, our research indicates that likely buyers are also embracing a range of other device types, from jewelry to contact lenses to e-textiles, suggesting great opportunity for the category’s continued expansion” concludes Roland. “As consumer tech products proliferate and evolve, differentiation and brand positioning become increasingly important. Deeper insights into consumer needs and priorities, including how those differ by segment, will help OEMs drive market share.”