In a consumer electronics world dominated by smartphones, HDTVs, laptop computers and tablet PCs, a new market category is generating significant consumer buying interest: wearable technologies. A new Accenture (NYSE:ACN) survey ( Accenture Digital Consumer Tech Survey 2014) found that more than half of consumers (52 percent) are interested in buying wearable technologies such as fitness monitors for tracking physical activity and managing their personal health. The survey of more than 6,000 people in six countries – Australia, Canada, India, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States – showed that many are also interested in buying smart watches (46 percent) and Internet-connected eyeglasses (42 percent).
Wearable technologies deliver a wide range of capabilities: fitness monitors track a person’s heart rate and calories burned, while Internet-connected eyeglass displays enable consumers to browse the Internet, take digital photos and receive hands-free notifications. 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 the past year wearable technologies have emerged as the next big consumer electronics market category, particularly for health and wellness,” said Mattias Lewren, global managing director of Accenture’s Electronics and High-Tech industry group. “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.”
In addition, the survey found significant consumer interest in purchasing phablets, an emerging category of mobile devices that combine smartphone and tablet PC functions while featuring 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.