With Apple poised to set a new standard in smart watches, much like its game-changing iPhone series in the smartphone arena, a new pair of reports indicates consumers are more receptive to wearing tech than ever before and are filling a cash-rich pool that could help media organizations stay afloat.
In Wearables.com and The Center for Generational Kinetics' study, "The Unexpected State of Consumer Wearable Technology," researchers found the consumer apprehension toward wearable tech has all but completely melted away. People are ready to receive alerts on wearables about events and brands, while they're also willing to divulge details on their shopping habits and location to improve their lives.
Approximately 60 percent of the study's respondents indicated they are willing to share personal information with their favorite brands, though they'd like to do so anonymously. The study concluded that about 40 percent of millennials are even willing to share their personal information with the government, while around 25 percent of the slightly older crowd would readily hand their information over.
"Our study revealed that consumers are looking for smart technology that will help improve their overall lives and that they would feel comfortable sharing personal information if it offered a better user experience," said Luis Felipe Rincon, CEO of Wearables.com. "Traditional thinking is that consumers would never agree to share their information, such as location, with brands and the like, but this national research shows that consumers -- especially millennials -- would share their location and much more."
Rincon says the Wearables.com study found that wearables could be the "tipping point" that opens up the next advertising avenue for brands, which jibes with the finding PricewaterhouseCoopers revealed in its study entitled "The Wearable Future."
Approximately 73 percent of the respondents to PwC's study indicate wearable tech would make media more immersive and entertaining. It found millennials are three times as likely as the rest of the population to view social media as an essential component of wearable tech.
PwC says the wearables market is expected to swell from 5.3 million fitness trackers and smart watches in 2013 to 19 million moved in 2014. The wearables market is expected to balloon to 130 million units by 2018, offering a lucrative avenue for news and advertising groups.
"The media company of the future must combine insights with curated experiences, and find new ways of monetization -- not merely through conventional advertising and paid content offerings. Wearables offer media companies a huge new frontier of relevance and immersive experiences, helping to engage audiences by providing the most relevant content," stated PwC's U.S. advisory entertainment, media and communications leader Deborah Bothun.