Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Fitness, mobile-health gadgets rated popular wearables in Nielsen survey

Iain Morris
March 26, 2014

Fitness bands and mobile health gadgets were rated as two of the three most popular types of wearable device in a recent survey conducted by Nielsen.

Some 61% of respondents chose fitness bands when asked about their wearable-device preferences, with 17% picking mobile health devices.

Meanwhile, 45% of respondents opted for smart watches.

Most fitness band owners (57%) said the ability to self-monitor was a major factor in their decision to purchase the technology, along with concern about their health.

Fitness band owners also ranked accuracy and battery life as the most important attributes of the technology, with durability also a critical factor.

Nielsen noted that 70% of consumers are already aware of wearables and that 15% of them are currently using wearable technology in their daily lives.

It also found that the majority of wearables owners are young, with nearly half aged between 18 and 34 years, and that men and women are equally likely to don wearable technology.

Three quarters of respondents to the survey said they consider themselves to be “early adopters” of technology, with just 25% describing themselves as “mainstream”, while 29% of them earn in excess of $100,000 a year.

Although half of respondents flagged interest in purchasing wearable technology in future, 72% indicated that cost may be a limiting factor, saying they wished that wearable devices were less costly.

Nielsen reckons another barrier to entry could be fashion requirements, with 62% of respondents saying they wished that wearables came in forms besides wrist bands and watches.

Indeed, some 53% of respondents expressed interest in wearables that look more like jewelry.

Nielsen surveyed a total of 3,956 respondents who are either current users of wearable technology or non-users with an interest in so-called “connected life” technologies.
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