The 2016 “The State of Wearables Today” Survey covers both fitness and health wearables. The results show that the most important feature is measurement accuracy, according to North Carolina biometric sensor developer Valencell and the MEMS & Sensors Industry Group, the trade association advancing Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS). The online survey was conducted May 27 – June 7, 2016, by Valencell and the MEMS & Sensors Industry Group; they polled 706 U.S. consumers, ages 18-65, on their knowledge and preferences around wearable technology devices.
“These survey results are a testament to Valencell’s view that accurate and interesting insights are critical to the success of the wearable industry, and are the biggest drivers of growth today,” said Dr. Steven LeBoeuf, President and Co-founder of Valencell.“More consumers than ever before are looking to biometric wearables to monitor their health and fitness, and wearables that cannot be trusted for accuracy will ultimately lose out to wearables that have been properly validated.”
More than 42 percent of the respondents own wearable technology and 80 percent of that group, “feel that their wearable has a positive impact on their health.” Of those who did not own a wearable, 74 percent said they would “consider” using one if they trusted the accuracy and felt it would make a difference in their health.
“MEMS and sensors are critical components in more accurate wearables,” said Karen Lightman, executive director, MEMS & Sensors Industry Group. “That’s because the devices themselves, from accelerometers, gyros and pressure sensors to heart rate monitors and environmental sensors are delivering ever higher levels of granularity while consuming less power in smaller footprints. Beyond accuracy, MEMS and sensors make wearables more interesting because they literally sense the world around us. With so much advanced functionality now at their disposal, I am convinced that wearables designers will introduce new and compelling products that consumers will consider ‘must-have’ rather than just ‘nice-to-own’.”
Including all respondents, those who do and do not own wearable, 63 percent ranked accuracy as highly important, followed by 57 percent for comfort and 47 percent who listed battery life. Also of note among a raft of information in the full survey, the most common reasons for stopping use of wearable tech were recharging hassle (40 percent), lack of trust in accuracy (29 percent), discomfort (26 percent), and because the devices did not provide “continually interesting insights” (24 percent).