We have seen the trend in wearable technology blow up this year, with smart watches, Google Glass, fitness trackers and phone-unlocking rings hitting the market.
Samsung released its first ever smart watch device, the Galaxy Gear, at Berlin’s consumer electronics show last month, which has met a mixture of excitement and criticism. However, research from On Device Research and CCS Insight has discovered that although 65% of UK and US consumers surveyed have heard of smart watches, only 21% of them are planning to have one by Christmas.
So why is that? Are smart watches an emerging trend, or are they a fad that only interest the tech-enthusiasts out there?
The most familiar type of wearable tech is the sports tracker; available in many forms including watches, bracelets and chips which attach to your trainers, sports trackers have boomed in popularity amongst seasoned and emerging athletes.
The typical sports tracker usually uses GPS to record your runs, recording pace, heart rate, speed and time, allowing sports fans to analyse their workouts.
However, a whopping 40% of the people who own a sports tracking device admitted that they had stopped using it because they either got bored of its novelty, or simply forgot to put it on for each workout.
The Samsung Galaxy Gear is the first smart watch to hit the market directly from a major mobile phone manufacturer and at present connects with Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 device. Conversely to sports tracking devices, the Galaxy Gear allows you to check your notifications, send emails, make phone calls and even take photos, much like you would with your mobile phone.
The main aim of the device, though, is to make it easier to conduct all of these seemingly normal functions without having to physically get your smartphone out of your pocket. And in theory, this sounds like a good idea. But when the device costs around the £300 mark, it is understandable that users aren’t rushing out to test out the latest trend in smart watches.
This brings us on to one major reason why the smart watch won’t make it big within the tech scene. The survey conducted about wearable technology concluded that mobile phone users are too familiar with getting their smartphones for free with a monthly contract, making the price tag of an additional smartphone accessory like the smart watch “a hefty sum to pay on top”.
With mobile phone manufacturers making smart watches look less like a gadget from a sci-fi movie and more like a stylish accessory, it is easy to see the appeal in wearable tech. However, considering such a high proportion of phone users wouldn’t purchase such a device despite being aware of their existence, it is highly unlikely that the smart watch will become an integral part of the tech scene any time soon.
Written by Charlotte Kertrestel