TNS Survey Finds Three in Four Consumers Are Aware of ‘Wearables’; Only 9% Are Eager to Use Them

  TNS Survey Finds Three in Four Consumers Are Aware of ‘Wearables’; Only 9%
  Are Eager to Use Them

Smartwatch Awareness Jumps after Samsung Announcement

Business Wire

NEW YORK -- September 12, 2013

Despite recent efforts by big tech companies, the majority of consumers are
not ready for wearable technology and there appears to be a large gap between
current technology and mass adoption, this according to a new study released
today by market information company, TNS.

While three-fourths of consumers are aware of at least one wearable computing
device, less than one in ten (9%) are currently interested in using them.
Although near-term purchase interest did not change significantly, interest in
learning more increased by 6 percentage points. For example, Samsung’s
announcement of its Galaxy Gear device helped push smartwatch awareness up by
10 percentage points in just the past week. Tom Buehrer, Senior Vice President
at TNS explains, “Wearable computing is still in its infancy. The main
challenge lies in convincing people of its value and developing a device with
mass appeal. The future of computing will be wearable, the question is, which
kind of computers will people actually wear?”

The importance of comfort

As the name implies, ‘wearables’ are meant to be worn, and how they feel is a
huge part of the equation. Nobody wants to wear something uncomfortable. When
given a choice, consumers do have a clear preference for where they’d like to
wear these devices; their wrist.The majority (52%) of consumers surveyed
would prefer to have a wrist-based device, such as a smartwatch or smart
bracelet. The next most preferred place is on their arm with 24% saying they
would prefer a device on this part of their body. Given this preference,
Google faces added challenges with Google Glass, as only 5% indicate they
would want to wear a device on their eyes.

Cost effective and Confidential

It’s not just the look of ‘wearables’ that is preventing broad adoption.
Shelling out money for another device is indeed another major barrier.
Fifty-five percent (55%) of consumers think wearable technology will be too
expensive for them to purchase, while 24% of consumers believe they already
have too many devices.

Then there’s the issue of privacy. Nearly a third of consumers (31%) are
genuinely worried and cites privacy as a barrier to adopting wearable

Despite hurdles, devices have mass potential:

Despite its’ lack of broad adoption, wearable devices, have enormous potential
for uses in health and fitness, navigation, social networking, commerce, and
media. Nearly 34% of those surveyed indicated that if using wearable
technologies they would do so to monitor their health, and communicate with
their friends. Buehrer, concluded, “Imagine having information that literally
is right in front of you that reminds you of important information that you
should already know, like a colleague’s name or important anniversary dates.
Imagine using your wrist to pay for lunch or to buy movie tickets? Wearables
will transform our lives in numerous ways, which we are just starting to

TNS conducts ongoing research of the wearables market through its
representative US Omnibus weekly survey of 1,000 US adults.

About TNS

TNS advises clients on specific growth strategies around new market entry,
innovation, brand switching and stakeholder management, based on
long-established expertise and market-leading solutions. With a presence in
over 80 countries, TNS has more conversations with the world’s consumers than
anyone else and understands individual human behaviors and attitudes across
every cultural, economic and political region of the world.

TNS is part of Kantar, one of the world's largest insight, information and
consultancy groups.

Please visit for more information.
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About Kantar

Kantar is the data investment management division of WPP and one of the
world's largest insight, information and consultancy groups. By connecting the
diverse talents of its 13 specialist companies, the group aims to become the
pre-eminent provider of compelling and inspirational insights for the global
business community. Its 28,500 employees work across 100 countries and across
the whole spectrum of research and consultancy disciplines, enabling the group
to offer clients business insights at every point of the consumer cycle. The
group’s services are employed by over half of the Fortune Top 500 companies.

For further information, please visit us at


Stephen Shively, 512-314-1810
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