Wearable technology, to some, may still seem like the kind of technological development still stuck in the niche phase. Some might look at the market and consider it strictly the province of the fitness tracker, with a few sidebars for things like head-mounted displays and other wrist-mounted devices. But there's a big surge of growth set to hit soon, according to a new report from PwC's Consumer Intelligence Series, and that growth will be coming largely from Millennial consumers.
The PwC report in question, titled “The Wearable Future,” noted that the wearable tech market of today is much like the tablet computing market of three years ago. Currently, around 20 percent of American adults own some kind of wearable device. Not a bad figure by itself, but the PwC report expects a further rise from there.
This is especially interesting, given that the report also noted that 33 percent of surveyed consumers in the report noted that, after purchasing a wearable device, said consumers no longer use the device or only use it “infrequently.” Consumers have several problems with the wearable tech market as we know it today, ranging from price to security to privacy matters and even the lack of actionable information generated by the devices. That's a pretty wide slate of problems, and the numbers make it worse. Eighty-two percent of those surveyed expressed concern about privacy invasions with the devices, and 86 percent believed wearable tech would put users at a greater risk of security breaches.
However, the Millennials and early adopters of wearables may be this market's saving grace. Both are excited about the overall future of the market, with 53 percent of Millennials and 54 percent of early adopters expressing that excitement. What's more, 90 percent of consumers surveyed believed wearable tech had a great advantage in helping parents keep track of children. Over 80 percent suggested health benefits were on hand with wearables, and 83 percent pointed to a greater ease of use that comes with wearable tech. There were also a slate of benefits associated with entertainment, healthcare, and even retailing as parts of the overall whole of the wearable tech market.
Right now, large portions of the market are either disenfranchised with or distrustful of wearable tech to some degree, yet there are also plenty of users out there who are not only happy with the devices, but also see an impressive future awaiting. This is a real opportunity for device makers to address clear problems and show off that impressive future. We've already seen wearables working well with beacon technology in retail stores, tracking locations of children and the elderly, we've seen all these things, but now device makers have to address the problems that people are having to really push this industry forward. The better a job same can do showing how problems are fixed, the better the likelihood a lot of users will come around.
There's plenty of room for improvement in the wearable device market, and knowing what we know about what's wrong with it can go a long way toward making it even better. Projecting growth ahead, meanwhile, makes sense as those firms who take advantage of all this information should ultimately do quite well with it in the end.
Edited by Maurice Nagle
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