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Survey Analysis: Wearable Devices need to be More Useful (Gartner)

By |January 23rd, 2017|REPORTS & ANALYSIS, Surveys & Articles, Wearables Market Research|

High Abandonment Rates Indicate the Need for More Compelling Value Propositions to Drive Greater Adoption

The abandonment rate of smartwatches is 29 percent, and 30 percent for fitness trackers, because people do not find them useful, they get bored of them or they break, according to a survey by Gartner, Inc.

“Dropout from device usage is a serious problem for the industry,” said Angela McIntyre, research director at Gartner. “The abandonment rate is quite high relative to the usage rate. To offer a compelling enough value proposition, the uses for wearable devices need to be distinct from what smartphones typically provide. Wearables makers need to engage users with incentives and gamification.” 

The 2016 Gartner Personal Technologies Study surveyed 9,592 online respondents from Australia, the U.S. and the U.K. between June and August 2016, to gain a better understanding of consumers’ attitudes toward wearables, particularly their buying behavior for smartwatches, fitness trackers and virtual reality (VR) glasses.

According to the survey, smartwatch adoption is still in the early adopter stage (10 percent), while fitness trackers have reached early mainstream (19 percent). Only 8 percent of consumers have used VR glasses/head-mounted displays (excluding cardboard types).

The survey found that people typically purchase smartwatches and fitness trackers for their own use, with 34 percent of fitness trackers and 26 percent of smartwatches given as gifts.

“Continued growth in the adoption of smartwatches and fitness trackers will now be from mainstream consumers instead of early technology adopters,” said Ms. McIntyre. “The greatest hurdle for fitness tracker and smartwatch providers to overcome is the consumer perception that the devices do not offer a compelling enough value proposition.”

Survey respondents indicated that wearable devices are priced too high, given their perceived usefulness. Gartner believes that wearable providers that do not have a strong brand name will find it more difficult to grow market share, competing directly with popular brands. Instead, they should accept lower margins and provide an alternative that is priced significantly lower than top brands, but still has good quality for price-sensitive consumers.

The survey also revealed that the designs of smartwatches and fitness trackers are not appealing to consumers. To overcome this concern, Gartner recommends wearable providers partner with companies that design, brand, market and distribute watches and fashion accessories because they have experience setting style trends, marketing lifestyle devices and have established retail channels.

Smartwatches still for early tech adopters

According to the survey, the U.S. is leading smartwatch usage at 12 percent, while the U.K. is at 9 percent and Australia at 7 percent. Usage is up from Gartner’s 2015 consumer survey, which showed that 8 percent of respondents in the U.S. and 5 percent in the U.K. used smartwatches.

Smartwatch usage is clearly higher among people 44 years old and younger. More than half of people who use a smartwatch (58 percent) use it every day, and those who don’t (33 percent) use it at least several times a week.

“The key to creating a value proposition to interest mainstream consumers is lifestyle messages around health tracking and the convenience of receiving alerts on the wrist, instead of via the phone,” said Ms. McIntyre. “The benefit will increase as these devices gain the capability to function more independently from the phone.”

Fitness trackers reach early mainstream

The survey also showed that the U.S. is leading fitness tracker usage at 23 percent, while the U.K. is at 15 percent and Australia at 19 percent. Usage has increased from the Gartner 2015 consumer survey, which showed that 17 percent of respondents in the U.S. and 10 percent in the U.K. used fitness trackers. Most people with a fitness tracker wear it every day. For those who do not, 26 percent wear their fitness tracker at least several times each week.

According to 29 percent of survey respondents, fitness trackers are unappealing devices. They said they would not wear them or that the designs are neither fashionable nor attractive. “Fitness tracker cases and wristbands designed by fashion brands are sold as higher-priced upgrades, which may be a barrier to purchase,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal research analyst at Gartner.

Younger people less than 45 years old tended to think a smartphone can do everything they need. People at least 45 years old state that they do not plan to purchase a fitness tracker because they are too expensive for the value.

“More fitness trackers will be sold as replacement devices rather than first-time purchases from now until the middle of 2017,” said Ms. Kitagawa. “It’s important for providers to market lower-priced fitness trackers to the older user segments, especially to older women.”

Gartner clients can read more in the report: “User Survey Analysis: Wearables Need to Be More Useful.”

How to Invest in Wearable Technology, Apple's your Money Maker

By |December 9th, 2014|News, Outside Sources*, Surveys & Articles|

I believe GoPro has done this well for this long – soaring more than 180% since its June initial public offering – because it is the poster child for a market sector that is set for a major boom. According to the IDC forecasters, wearable tech will grow 78.4% through the end of 2018. If we want to get on the road to wealth that tech provides, then this is a sector we must cash in on. But I don’t want us to get hurt by messing with a risky stock like GoPro.

That’s why today I’m going to show you how to invest in wearable tech – the entire sector – with a single investment that offers both safety and big profits…


Way Beyond Action Cameras

Don’t get me wrong. I love GoPro Inc. (Nasdaq: GPRO) as a company. I like its story and I’m a fan of its technology – wearable cameras that “extreme” cyclists, surfers, and skiers use to capture and post their incredible stunts. In this market, however, we just can’t justify paying 80 times forward earnings. And besides being a risky stock, GoPro is just a start to the world of wearable technology.

How to Invest in Wearable Tech

That became abundantly clear Sept. 9 when Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) introduced the Apple Watch. Due out next year, the smartwatch can be integrated with the iPhone, used with the new Apple Pay mobile-payments system, and loaded up with dozens of goods from the App Store.  More to the point, I think it will be a huge success.

Morgan Stanley agrees, saying that the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant could sell 30 million to 60 million Apple Watches in the first year alone.

That’s huge.

According to the researchers at ON World, consumers purchased just 4 million smartwatches last year. But ON World predicts shipments will hit 330 million in 2018 – a stunning 8,150% increase in just five years.

And that’s only one segment of the wearable tech market. Wearables also include medical devices, fitness and health monitors, GPS trackers, and virtual-reality headsets.

Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG, GOOGL) has several fingers in the wearables glove. You know Google Glass. Worn as eyeglasses, the system displays text messages and maps, takes notes, records video, takes pictures, and displays video.

And Google is using its Android operating system to make an ecosystem play. Android Wear is designed to work with wearable devices from several developers and makers. As much as I like GoPro, Apple, and Google, there’s a much better way to play wearable tech, as I’ll explain. You see, it’s important to note that we’re still at the dawn wearable tech.

It’s a bit early to try picking the winners from the losers. What we’re looking for now is a way to capture as much upside as possible from the whole sector.

That’s where the Vanguard Information Technology ETF (NYSE Arca: VGT) comes in. It’s an exchange-traded fund composed of 90% technology stocks, most of which are based in the United States. Vanguard Info Tech has some 413 holdings, but more than half of its assets are in the fund’s top 10 stocks. For instance, Apple and Google make up 22.6% of the ETF’s holdings.  That right there gives us two major wearable plays. But Vanguard Info Tech holds at least four other wearable leaders. Take a look…

Wearable Tech Vanguard No. 1:


After nearly striking out on the mobile revolution, VGT holding Intel Corp.(Nasdaq: INTC) wants badly to sell its Edison semiconductor chips to wearable developers. And to bolster and promote the entire sector, Intel is sponsoring the Make It Wearable contest, with a $500,000 grand prize for the most innovative product. Besides selling chips, Intel is also making some moves into consumer products.

Earlier this year, the world’s leading semiconductor firm acquired Basis Science Inc. That $100 million play gives Intel a line of wearable fitness devices. Intel plans to further expand into wearables with a line of MICA smart bracelets. The fashion-centric line is the highlight of Intel’s recent partnership with watchmaker Fossil Group Inc. (Nasdaq: FOSL) and clothing retailer Opening Ceremony.  The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company also offers Jarvis, a smart headset that functions similarly to digital assistants like Apple’s Siri and Google Now.


Wearable Tech Vanguard No. 2:


Meanwhile, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) is focused on the software aspect of wearables. Like Intel, Microsoft largely missed the mobile revolution, but it has no intention of making that mistake with wearables.

Microsoft recently released a software suite for wearable devices, primarily smartwatches. OneNote, a free app designed for Android Wear, is being offered through Google Play.

At the same time, Microsoft will soon release its own smartwatch. The sensor-laden device will serve as a fitness tracker and will sync with iPhones, Android phones, and Microsoft’s own Windows Phone system.


Wearable Tech Vanguard No. 3:


Primarily known for navigation devices, Garmin Ltd. (Nasdaq: GRMN) is not only leveraging off its GPS expertise. With wearables, it’s also focused on fitness and health, which is the company’s fastest-growing division. For instance, Garmin’s fitness bands allow users to track their physical activity, including daily number of calories burned and steps taken as well as sleep patterns.

The company clearly picked a growth segment. According to market forecaster Canalys, we bought 1.8 million smart bands like those made by Garmin last year. That number will likely climb to more than 45 million by 2017.  Garmin also makes several sport watches that feature GPS tracking and fitness monitoring. And its Forerunner watches feature touchscreen technology that helps swimmers improve their stroke.


Wearable Tech Vanguard No. 4:


And then there’s Vanguard Info Tech’s backdoor play on GoPro – our old friendAmbarella Inc. (Nasdaq: AMBA).

Ambarella makes the video-processing chips that make GoPro’s cameras such a success. And the company goes well beyond the wearable market. It makes video-processing chips used in just about every digital camera we own – auto backup cameras, surveillance cameras, smartphone cameras, TV broadcast cameras. And that, in turn, reinforces one of the great selling points of Vanguard Info Tech – diversification.  This ETF not only gives us a broad play on wearables, but also covers a wide swath of other technology, including software, semiconductors, cloud computing, Big Data, and mobile.

Trading at roughly $98.50 a share, Vanguard Info Tech is well ahead of the overall market. Over the past six months, it has doubled the S&P 500‘s 3% return, and it’s nearly 40% ahead of the market over the past year. With its lineup of top tech names – and a concentration in tech’s fastest-growing sector – this is a great long-term play. Vanguard Info Tech is an investment that captures the quick profit potential in wearables while still helping you build a solid investing foundation.

Throw in market-beating performance and you have a real winner on your hands.


Stealing Passwords With Google Glass, Smartwatches, Web Cams, Whatever!

By |December 5th, 2014|Outside Sources*, Surveys & Articles|


An August 2014 article, by SecurityWatch, we often tell readers that they need to keep their smartphones secure with–at minimum–a PIN code. But after this year’s Black Hat, that might be enough anymore. Now all an attacker needs to steal a smartphone passcode is a video camera, or even a wearable device like Google Glass.

Presenter Qinggang Yue demonstrated his team’s remarkable new attack in Las Vegas. Using video footage, they claim to be able to automatically recognize 90 percent of passodes up to nine feet from the target. It’s a simple idea: break passcodes by watching what victims’ press. The difference is that this new technique is much more accurate, and fully automated.

Yue started off his presentation by saying that the title could be changed to, “my iphone sees your password or my smartwatch sees your password.” Anything with a camera will do the job, but what’s on the screen doesn’t need to be visible.

Finger Gazing
To “see” taps on the screen, the Yue’s team tracks the relative motion of victims’ fingers over touchscreens using a variety of means. They start by analyzing shadow formation around the fingertip as it strikes the touch screen, along with other computer vision techniques. To map the taps, they use planar homography and a reference image of the software keyboard used on the victims’ device.

The technical sophistication of this is really remarkable. Yue explained how using a variety of visual processing techniques, he and his team were able to determine the position of the victim’s finger over the screen with greater and greater accuracy. For example, the different lighting of parts of the victim’s finger helped determine the direction of the tap. Yue even looked at the finger’s reflection to determine its position.

One surprising finding is that people tend to not move the rest of their fingers while tapping in a code. This gave Yue’s team the ability to track several points on the hand at once.

More startling is that this attack will work for any standard keyboard configuration, just a numpad.

How Bad is It?
Yue explained that at close range, smartphones and even smart watches could be used to capture the video necessary to determine a victim’s passcode. Webcams worked slightly better, and the larger keyboard of the iPad was very easy to view.

When Yue used a camcorder, he was able to capture victim’s password from up to 44 meters away. The scenario, which Yue said his team tested, had an attacker with a camcorder on the fourth floor of a building and across the street from the victim. At this distance, he achieved a 100 percent success rate.

Change the Keyboard, Change the Game
If this sounds terrifying, never fear. The presenters came with a new weapon against their own creation: the Privacy Enhancing Keyboard. This context-aware keyboard determines when you’re entering sensitive data and displayes a randomized keyboard for Android phones. Their vision-based scheme makes certain assumptions about keyboard layout. Simply change the keyboard, and the attack won’t work.

Another limitation of the attack is knowledge of the device and the shape of its keyboard. Perhaps iPad users won’t feel so bad about knock-off devices.

If all that doesn’t sound like it’s enough to keep yourself safe, Yue had some simple, practical advice. He suggested entering personal information in private, or simply covering your screen while typing.

Original Article Posted August 14, 2014 by technology and security journalist Mr.Max Eddy of SecurityWatch.com

SmartWatch Consumer Survey Results, Q4 2014

By |December 5th, 2014|Charts & Graphs, Surveys & Articles|

Poll Question Response,     For! % Response, Against % # Polled RESULT ANALYSIS
GO HERE: http://1drv.ms/1vv87FH
If You Own A Smartwatch, How Was Your SERVICE Experience? Great Technical Support 39% Horrible Upset Person 61% 36 Almost 2X Dissatisfied buyers, due to Customer Support of Watch Mfg. – This lack of Quality Customer Support could in fact impact future of smartwatch adoption, (esp with small mfg), in an adverse / “bad taste in the buyers mouth” “bad experiences in CSupport are FIXABLE and Highly Important to a Prod/Businesses success.
How Would You Prefer a GSM Smartwatch be Shipped? Manufacturer’s Activated & Setup 38% You Activate & Setup 62% 87 Buyers seem to Prefer to Setup SIM-Enabled smartwatches vs. receiving the watch pre-setup by mfg. – by only 2/3
If a Smartwatch Has Talk/Data Service, Would You Want 2 Buy? Bluetooth & WiFi 72% Talk/Data Service 4G 28% 87 Quite obvious here.. Majority 3/4 of those polled, do not see/recognize much benefit to adding SIM-Components into smartwatches, and prefer (or have not experienced standalone) companion devices.
IWatch CONNET to PHONE *or* Galaxy Gear S w/3G + NO PHONE? iWatch w/Phone 85% Galaxy Gear S w/NO Phone 15% 48
More Desirable Plug & Play Feature in a Smartwatch: 2D/3D Virtual Glasses 13% Tracking with NFC Tags 87% 474
Which GSM Android WEAR Watch Would You Buy? Galaxy Gear “S” 12% Apple i-Watch 88% 33
Which FEATURE is MOST desirable on a Smartwatch? Home Automation 73% Car automation 27% 481
Do you wear a watch, regularly? Yes, I Wear a Watch 33% No, Hardly Ever 67% 589
What did you pay or what pay do you expect for smartwatch? Over $200 w/Wireless 33% Under $200 w/Wireless 67% 440

Survey Results: 10% iPhone Users 'will buy' the Apple Watch

By |December 1st, 2014|News, Outside Sources*, Statistics & Chartables, Surveys & Articles|

According to a survey by UBS, 10% of consumers said they were very likely to buy a smartwatch next year. The survey was conducted ahead of the Apple Watch’s launch in early 2015.

UBS surveyed 4,000 people and estimated Apple would sell about 24 million Apple Watches next year based on the number of compatible iPhones in use. (The Apple Watch is an accessory to the iPhone. It can’t work independently.)

Most people surveyed (70%) said they already owned a regular watch but would still buy a smartwatch.

If Apple can sell anywhere close to 24 million watches, it’ll be a huge success. So far, no smartwatches have resonated with consumers. In the past 13 months or so, Samsung has released six smartwatch models. None have been big sellers.

The Apple Watch will start at $349 but could cost well into the thousands for the models made of premium materials. Some, like Apple pundit John Gruber, have speculated that the gold Apple Watch will cost as much as $10,000. Apple hasn’t given specific pricing on the various Apple Watch models except to say what the entry-level version will cost.

Smartwatches running Google’s Android Wear operating system cost as little as $199.

Apple is still working on the watch. Even though the official unveiling happened in September, we got only a limited look at everything the Apple Watch will be able to do.

Since then, Apple has released Watchkit, a set of tools developers can use to make their iPhone apps work with the Apple Watch. WatchKit gave us a deeper look at how notifications will work on the Apple Watch.

We also may never find out how many watches Apple sells. On its latest earnings call, the company said it would lump the Apple Watch sales into a miscellaneous category along with gadgets like the Apple TV and iPod. But if the watch has a strong opening weekend, you can bet Apple will come out with a braggy press release the following Monday with some real sales data.

The wearable computing market is one of the biggest growth areas in tech. BI Intelligence estimates that 148 million wearable devices like smartwatches and fitness trackers will ship in 2019.


The only watch more popular than the Apple Watch? The Samsung Galaxy Gear. 37% of people said they were looking into that one, while only 25% were thinking Apple Watch. Third place was the Sony Smartwatch (6%0, and the Moto 360 was fourth with 2% interested.

Apple is expected to rake in about $3.4 billion in 2015 from the Apple Watch, which will nearly double to $6.2 billion in 2016, according to UBS. By 2018, Apple is expected to bring in a cool $10 billion annually from the Apple Watch.

Via: Fortune

Survey by BI, Indicates the SmartWatch Market to be Small

By |December 1st, 2014|Outside Sources*, REPORTS & ANALYSIS, RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT, Surveys & Articles|

A global survey BI Intelligence conducted among Business Insider readers during October 2014 illustrates what consumers are looking for in a smartwatch, and whether they intend to purchase one. We generated over 2,000 responses from Business Insider readers, who tend to be young, affluent professionals — ostensibly the target market for a smartwatch.

Will people buy smartwatches?
What is it about smartwatches that interest them?

Here are the main takeaways:

  • The smartwatch only appeals to a minority of possible purchasers.

    Of 1,678 respondents who said they planned to buy a new phone in the next six months, just one-fifth said they are interested in buying a smartwatch to pair with their phone.

  • Apple has done a better job than competitors selling the smartwatch.
    Prospective iPhone buyers were significantly more interested in a companion watch than likely Android purchasers. About 31% of those who said they would buy an iPhone in the next six months plan to buy a smartwatch, more than double the proportion among those buying Android phones.
  • These are the top use cases among likely purchasers:
    Almost 40% of nearly 400 likely smartwatch buyers told us that the most important benefit of the device is its ability to funnel phone notifications, information, and other content if users happen to be away from their smartphone. Another one-fourth of our respondents said they already wear a watch and the added functionality of a connected watch appeals to them. Health- and fitness-tracking was another popular reason.
  • But there is no killer app, and hence most people don’t see the point.
    Overall a majority of people still don’t see the point of these devices. This is the reason 51% of those uninterested in smartwatches gave us for why they wouldn’t buy the device. At a distant second, 13% of respondents said they just didn’t like wearing a watch. Until consumers see a clear reason why smartwatches will improve their lives and productivity, the smartwatch category will remain small.

For a full smartwatch survey data and analysis on the wearable computing
and smartwatch markets,
sign up for a trial membership today.


Of course, the next six months could bring about new applications for smartwatches generally and the Apple Watch in particular, but the data shows that the smartwatch still has a long way to go before it is seen as an essential consumer electronics device.