Wearable devices are a huge consumer market as evidenced by the popularity of the Apple watch, Fitbit Versa,
Garmin Vivosport, and a plethora of others. Also, there’s a rapidly expanding market for wearable medical devices.
Most wearable devices offer users the ability to connect their devices wirelessly to the Internet for downloading data from various location, sharing data with friends, family, healthcare providers, as well as for keeping the device up to date. Obviously, whenever one connects to the Internet, there are inherent risks due to the spammers, spoofers, hackers, and cybercriminals lurking out there on the digital freeway. This begs the question, “Do Wearable Devices Connect People to the Internet of Things?”
A recent survey covers this topic in depth, from every angle. One finding reveals “user interface, convenience, and privacy concerns prevent people from using their wearable devices as part of the "internet of things" (IoT), or an ecosystem of connected devices. Instead, people primarily use wearable devices for "legacy" tasks, namely fitness tracking and checking the time.
The survey conducted by research firm Clutch is amply described and detailed by Grayson Kemper. Some findings include:
- Just over one-third of people (35%) own a wearable device.
- People who own wearable devices don’t use them as often as other IoT devices. Only 23% of people use a wearable compared the most to other connected devices.
- Smartwatches (61%) are the most common wearable devices people own, ahead of fitness trackers (27%).
- Apple Watch (41%) is the most common wearable product people own, ahead of Fitbit (35%) and Samsung (21%) products.
- People use wearable devices primarily to track exercise and fitness (70%) and check the time (61%). Over half (52%) also use them to communicate.
- Half of wearables owners (50%) recognize that their personal data is shared across multiple connected devices.
- Nearly all people who own wearables (91%) connect them to their smartphones.
- Only 6% of people who own wearables, however, connect them to the same apps as their other connected devices, indicating they don’t use wearables as part a fully connected ecosystem of IoT devices.
- Wearables don’t drive IoT investment. Over half of people (52%) who own wearables don’t plan to invest in an IoT device in the next year.
If wearables are your thing, you’d be well served by reading the Do Wearable Devices Connect People to the Internet of Things? report.