According to a detailed report by PwC, wearable technology is becoming more mainstream, with 20% of American adults already owning at least one wearable device.
The adoption rate of wearable devices is already comparable to that of tablets in 2012, which suggests huge break-through potential. But the PwC Wearable Future report also highlights a serious issue that needs to be addressed by creators and manufacturers before wearable devices can achieve success comparable to tablets.
The survey found that 33% who bought a device one year ago no longer use it or do so infrequently. Fears of security breaches (86%) and an invasions of privacy (82%) were raised as major causes for concern, as well as a lack of “actionable” information, and devices not living up to expectations were also cited.
“Relevance is the baseline, but then there is a consumer list of requirements to enable interaction with the brand in a mobile and wearable environment,” said Deborah Bothun, PwC’s U.S. Advisory Entertainment, Media & Communications Leader.
Clearly not all wearable tech is created equal, not if some don’t achieve the relevancy baseline, which means creators need to succinctly answer this question: “Why would someone buy this? What problem is it solving?”
The report also notes that “For wearable products to take off, they will need to carve out a distinct value proposition. And, because the phone is such a fixture, for the short term, at least, wearable technology will need to seamlessly integrate with our existing technology.”
While the market size is enormous and applications potentially limitless, wearable tech will only succeed when they make themselves indispensable and seamlessly integrate with the lives of everyday people, not just early adopters. Otherwise, they risk being just another shiny gadget, played with by tech aficionados and those with money to burn.