Would you wear Google Glass on a first date?
I didn’t think so. The idea of wearing eyeglasses that can record everything going on around you is definitely awkward for most people—especially for the person on the other side of those glasses, who is wondering what you’re finding out about him on social media as you share your first bite.
But we can all guess that wearable technology in some form or fashion is here to stay.
People want fast, if not instant, access to information about themselves and the world. Wearable technology offers this increasingly well—and consumers are responding. Some analysts predict the wearable technology market will exceed $30 billion. Now that’s big.
We already see people wearing their Fitbit activity trackers all the time to track and encourage healthy habits. We’ve heard the buzz about the Apple Watch. And yes, occasionally, we’ll see someone sporting Google Glass. But is wearable technology really here to stay, or is it just a fad? Will it help us in our business pursuits?
In a partnership with Wearables.com, The Center for Generational Kinetics (where I work as chief strategy officer) completed a survey to determine whether wearable technology is a hyped fad or truly the future for all consumers.
So what did we uncover in our national poll of 1,000 American adults?
Finding 1: Wearables are not a fad but a trend that is quickly coming of age. More than half (54 percent) of Americans already think they’ll own a wearable device one day. Eighty-eight percent of Americans said wearable devices are not a fad. As we look ahead at the fastest-growing segment of customers and prospects (millennials), we find even more aggressive adoption. Fifty-four percent of millennials have already considered purchasing a wearable device.
Finding 2: Wearable technology will go high-style. Thirty-three percent of people who considered buying a smartwatch wanted one by Rolex. Talk about old school meets new school. I can only imagine how a Rolex smartwatch would help your golf game!
Finding 3: Wearable technology can grow your business. Almost one in five consumers (19 percent) would trade their personal information for a reward when they enter a store, and 18 percent would do the same for recommendations on items they might like. Looking ahead, it’s likely you’ll one day be notified when someone in your vicinity would make a great customer, and your wearable device will tee up an introduction. That would change the sales experience.
So how can we start benefiting from wearable technology today?
1. Get familiar with it. Find a local store that stocks wearable technology and test a few devices. This was an eye-opener for me. I chose to buy a Fitbit.
2. Sync your wearable device with other users to experience the “gamification” aspect of the technology. You can compete for wellness or fitness goals.
3. For a new way to drive traffic to your website, wear a GoPro personal camera and shoot a promotional video. Remember the viral video of the dog wearing a GoPro? Brilliant.
Those who recognize and act now on the promise of wearable technology will have a huge advantage going forward.
I can see it all now: I’ve just completed a run, and my wearable technology presents me with a coupon for frozen yogurt at a nearby store. You can guess which way I’ll run next. And that, my friends, is the power of wearable technology: improved access to relevant information—and a new customer for you.