While consumer interest in wearables is strong — 45% of US and 32% of EU consumers state they are intrigued by the prospect of getting a wearable device — enterprise demand for wearables is even greater. Today, 68% of global technology and business decision-makers say that wearables are a priority for their firm, with 51% calling it a moderate, high, or critical priority. This is according to a Forrester report launched during the Wearables Trend session at LeWeb in Paris today.
Why will wearables be such a big priority in 2015?
Businesses now see a clear return on investment from wearables, expecting these emerging devices to both increase operational efficiency and reshape customer experiences. But take note: This isn’t about about hardware. Instead, forward-looking companies in all industries are creating innovative services — often served by entirely new business models — that reach people in mobile moments of need. For example, Ralph Lauren’s Polo Tech smart shirt, built on OMsignal’s technology, tracks detailed biometrics like peak heart rate while the wearer is exercising. Mounted by your bedside and under your pillow, the Withings Aura Smart Sleep System both tracks and improves your sleep.
Consumers feel open to a variety of wearable types and already have a notion of where on their body they might be willing to sport a wearable device. The wrist leads the way — 42% of US and 36% of EU consumers state they want to wear a device on the wrist, followed by clipped onto clothing (35% US, 23% EU), embedded into clothing (19% US, 15% EU), earbuds/headphones (21% US, 10% EU), and smart glasses (18% US, 12% EU).
So what’s the wearables endgame? It goes far beyond whether or not the Apple Watch will take off. Forrester predicts wearables will create an all-body network that receives a variety of inputs and then acts on them. This in turn will create a whole new level of contextual data, allowing marketers to uncover new markets and revenue opportunities and offer individualized pitches and products.