Sales of Wearable Devices Set to Take Off in 2014

By January 22, 2014
Wearable devices_L'Atelier

Although an increasing number of people now own basic digital devices, consumers are still on the lookout for innovations.

According to a report from the management consulting firm Accenture, consumers nowadays aspire to a “complete digital lifestyle” and many of them intend to spend money in order to move towards that goal over the next twelve months. Some 33% of the 6,021 people in six countries surveyed online by Accenture are planning to increase their spending on digital devices during the year. And while 52% of these consumers stated that they envisage buying a smartphone, it turns out that half of them are actually planning to purchase a ‘phablet’, which combines the functionality of the mobile phone and the tablet. Aside from this stated intention to spend money, what is perhaps most interesting is people’s apparent desire to get hold of the latest technologies, such as wearable devices, smart glasses and smart watches.

Mobile technology has mass appeal

In the six countries studied – Australia, Canada, India, South Africa, the UK and the US – 42% of those polled stated that they were interested in obtaining smart glasses. This figure is particularly high given that the products are still for the most part not commercially available. Close to 46% of the respondents expressed interest in connected watches. And when it comes to those categorised as ‘early adopters’ of the latest technologies these figures are even higher. Some 70% of this group stated that they were interested in mobile technologies, including such areas as vehicle navigation, home security and health. In fact 52% of all consumers polled said they were planning to buy a health and fitness device or app this year.

Data privacy no obstacle to adoption

When people use digital equipment and channels, they are often required to share a lot of personal information. However, the survey carried out by Accenture reveals that although 50% “lack confidence that the security of their personal data is protected on the Internet”, more than half of all respondents still said they were willing to exchange personal data in exchange for a monetary reward, as long as some basic rules apply. Moreover, consumers are showing themselves to be increasingly independent in their race for innovation. They are now tending to create what Accenture calls their own “constellations of devices and services that fit their personal lifestyles and activities in which they want to engage,” says the report. Consequently, consumer electronics manufacturers and other digital sector players will need to understand how their customers are building their preferences and ‘constellations’ if they wish to come up with effective product and business strategies.

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