GfK research reveals wearable technology is too expensive


Survey of 1,600 UK and US consumers find that while awareness of the products is high, interest in buying them drops once they find out how much they cost

GfK research has revealed that although awareness of wearable technology is high, they cost too much for those they appeal to most.

The findings were revealed after the market researchers questioned 1,600 UK and US consumers last month.

It found awareness of products including Google Glass, Sony SmartWatch, Samsung Galaxy Gear, Nike Fuelband, Pebble and Fitbit ranges from 18 to 50 per cent.

However, only six per cent of those questioned owned wearable technology. The figure rose slightly for 16-24 year olds at seven per cent, with six in ten people in this age group finding the idea of a connected smartwatch appealing.

Additionally, four in ten of 16-24 year olds find Google Glass appealing, which is twice as many compared to those aged 45 years and over.

However, GfK found that pricing of such products is proving to be a barrier. Once respondents saw the cost of a connected smartwatch (£150-£200), their intention to buy one fell by half from 24 to 12 per cent, and dripped by more than half for connected glasses (£400-£600) from 16 to seven per cent.

The drop in interest for 16-24 year olds was particularly apparent, falling by almost two thirds for a connected smartwatch from 32 to 10 per cent.

Johanna Martin of GfK said: to get the market moving, manufacturers need to communicate tangible lifestyle benefits and offer a sleek design – but even then, any wearable tech device will only succeed if it’s priced right.

“Our research suggests that the current price points are a barrier, restricting wearable tech to an older, more affluent audience. So while consumer awareness and interest is definitely there, we are still waiting for the launch of that ‘must-have’ wearable tech device for Christmas 2013.”