Consumers see uses for wearables beyond health

Eden Estopace
Healthcare Innovation

Six in 10 smartphone users believe that wearables have uses beyond health and wellness, according to the latest Ericsson ConsumerLab report.

Personal safety devices such as panic buttons and personal locators attract the most interest among consumers, the study hows.

The top five most-wanted wearables across five markets surveyed were panic/SOS button (32%), smartwatches (28%), wearable location trackers (27%), identity authenticators (25%) and wearable water purifiers (24%).

The report also showed that consumers predict a booming wearables market beyond 2020, as well as the fact that wearables might replace smartphones and will help consumers interact with physical things and objects in the IoT.

Ericsson said ownership of wearables among smartphone users in the surveyed markets has doubled in the past year. However, consumers predict it will take at least another year for the current generation of wearables to go mainstream.

A more diverse set of wearables, such as personal safety devices and smart garments, will go mainstream beyond 2020 - but when they do, a booming market can be expected. One in three smartphone users believes they will use at least five connected wearables beyond 2020.

However, although consumers show the greatest interest in devices related to safety, Ericsson Consumer Lab consumer insight expert Jasmeet Singh Sethi said they also see an openness to wearable technology further away from today’s generation.

“In five years' time, walking around with an ingestible sensor, which tracks your body temperature and adjusts the thermostat setting automatically once you arrive home, may be a reality,” Sethi said."Early signs of detachment from smartphones are visible today with 40% of today's smartwatch users already interacting less with their smartphones.”

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