Is Wearable Tech a Dud?


Remember all those trend forecasts about the hottest new thing? Well, take a look at your wrist and tell me what you see. If you are like me your left hand features a wristwatch that tells the time and, if you squint real hard, the date. That’s it. No social media apps, no email alerts. Vintage Timex functionality.

This could be why Nike announced it is winding down its FuelBand group. Consumer enthusiasm for wearable technology has been breathtakingly weak. A study conducted by CCS Insights indicates that among the early adopters, a significant proportion have put those cool, wiz-bang devices back in their boxes. The reason for the abandonment centers around poor functionality and basic boredom.

Other, more global studies show a wide regional variance in interest for wearable tech. While Europeans and North Americans have been slow to embrace the category, Latin Americans and Asian consumers show greater promise. There is also a gender difference. Men––who are more easily seduced by new shiny objects––perform better than women.

A dud? Maybe. Some trend analysts have given up on neither hope nor hype.

“Wearable tech is not a niche play; it’s a broad, industry-wide phenomenon impacting everything,” explains Michael Becker, managing director of the Mobile Marketing Association, “It’s critical marketers and brands realize that we’re at the first embryonic stage.”

Baby steps. Baby steps.

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