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January 06, 2014

Accenture Consumer Survey Reveals Wearable Tech Opportunities

Wearable technologies have made virtually every list of markets that are poised for explosive growth not just in 2014 but going forward.  Estimates have been as high as hundreds of billions of dollars in just the next five years.  In fact, TMC is bullish on this broadly defined market and is a leader in not just covering it, but also we have been early proponents having held two events with our Wearable Expo scheduled for July in New York City.  

As confirmation of the interest and prospects in this emerging area, Accenture is out with a new survey, Accenture Digital Consumer Tech Survey 2014, which indicates consumer interest and market opportunities.

Consumers are interested and willing to pay for wearables

The survey of more than 6,000 people in six countries – Australia, Canada, India, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States –found that:

  • 52 percent of respondents were interested in buying wearable technologies such as fitness monitors for tracking physical activity and managing their personal health
  • 42 percent are also interested in buying smart watches (46 percent) and Internet-connected eyeglasses (42 percent).

Source:  Accenture Digital Consumer Tech Survey 2014

Among the six countries, consumers in India were most interested in buying fitness monitors (80 percent), smart watches (76 percent) and Internet-enabled eyeglasses (74 percent). In fact, overall this was the market showing the strongest interest. For example, 80 percent plan to buy a smartphone; more than two-thirds (69 percent) a HDTV; nearly two-thirds (65 percent) a traditional tablet PC, and almost two-thirds (63 percent) a laptop PC.

“India is clearly a major growth market for consumer electronics,” said Mattias Lewren, global managing director of Accenture’s Electronics and High-Tech industry group.  He added, “Craving more personalized digital experiences, the country’s consumers rank among the world’s most willing to pay for and use consumer electronics devices – including wearable technologies.”

Lewren in looking at the wearable market overall stated, “In the past year wearable technologies have emerged as the next big consumer electronics market category, particularly for health and wellness…To capitalize on this growth opportunity, consumer electronics companies should consider investing in wearable product innovation and industrial design, and building ecosystems that connect wearables to the broader array of interactive digital networks. Every consumer is a digital consumer, and the keen interest in wearable technology provides further evidence of that.”

Interest in “phablets”

The survey also revealed strong interest in the emerging area of “phablets”— mobile devices that combine smartphone and tablet PC functions that feature a screen size of five-to-seven inches – in between a traditional smartphone and a tablet PC. The survey also unveiled strong purchase plans over the next year for traditional smartphones, HDTVs, laptops and tablet PCs.

  • 52 percent who plan to buy a traditional smartphone in the next year indicated they would prefer a phablet.
  •  52 percent plan to purchase a smartphone and 40 percent a tablet PC.
  •  41 percent intend to buy a HDTV
  • 38 percent a laptop

This signifies according to Accenture an important shift in consumer preferences, as interest in multi-function devices far exceeds interest in single-function devices such as:

  • Home game consoles (25 percent)
  •  Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) navigation units (23 percent)
  • ebook readers (22 percent)

Whether it is smart watches, health and wellness monitors, glasses or even smart clothing, the wearable category clearly has terrific growth prospects, and will be a significant portion of new additions to the total of total connected devices as that other big item on industry observer lists, “The Internet of Everything (IoE)” becomes a major focus of entrepreneurial and investment activity.  

Be sure to bookmark our Wearable Tech site, and visit us often for news and insights. 

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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