by Al Sacco

Consumers still think wearables are expensive, confusing — but also ‘nerdy cool’

Mar 31, 2016
Consumer ElectronicsHealth and Fitness SoftwareMobile

New research suggests consumers think wearable technology is still too pricey, but they're intrigued by the cool factor and less worried about security and privacy issues.

Wearable technology is now very much a part of everyday life, thanks largely to the success of fitness trackers – including Fitbits – and smartwatches. However, it’s still a stretch to suggest wearables are mainstream, and though the average consumer is cautiously interested in the devices, the results of a recent survey suggest many folks still have a number of nagging concerns.

Colloquy, a marketing-focused research company, yesterday released the results of a February 2016 survey of 1,060 American consumers 18 years or older. Among the most notable findings are the facts that nearly two thirds (63 percent) of consumers believe wearables are too pricey; the majority of those surveyed (58 percent) said they’d like to use a wearable but feel like they’re too old; more than half of all respondents (52 percent) said they don’t understand wearables; and less than a third of respondents (32 percent) are concerned with the privacy and potential fraud issues associated with wearable tech.

This last stat is particularly interesting, because security and privacy have long represented significant hurdles for wearable makers, and it suggests that some consumers may have overcome their initial concerns. For example, a fall 2014 survey of more than 1,000 consumers by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) found that 86 percent of consumers thought wearables made them vulnerable to security breaches, and 82 percent felt the gadgets invaded their privacy.

Other noteworthy finding from the Colloquy report include:

  • 41 percent of respondents said they’d be more likely to place a wearable on pets than on themselves.
  • 36 percent said wearables are a passing fad.
  • 35 percent said people who use wearable devices are just trying to show off.
  • 35 percent of consumers think wearable technology is nerdy, but “cool nerdy.”
  • 33 percent said wearables make a fashion forward statement.
  • 9 percent of the people surveyed think wearable devices have to be charged too often.
  • 8 percent of respondents said wearable devices are uncomfortable.
  • 6 percent believe wearables are not compatible with enough other devices.
  • 4 percent or respondents think wearables have slower processing times than other devices.

Check out Colloquy’s “Weighing in on wearables: Wavering or Won over?” infographic below for additional details, or visit the company’s website. 


colloquy wearables infographic Colloquy

Click infographic to enlarge