Fashion is fast becoming a way for tech companies to extend the appeal of wearable tech devices and is likely to lead to a dramatic uplift in sales, according to research from Wunderman.
At last week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the luxury goods company Swarovski unveiled a nine-strong range of crystal-studded pendants, bracelets and bands that incorporate technology. A survey of global Wunderman employees found that nearly two-thirds thought that by improving the aesthetic design of wearable technology the popularity of such devices would definitely increase.
Another area where Wunderman believes wearable tech will become more prolific is in the healthcare industry and this could lead to corresponding savings on healthcare expenditure, providing an opportunity for healthcare brands. The report found that forty six per cent of respondents agreed that wearable tech that monitored general health would be beneficial.
Jeroen Matser, VP Strategy at Wunderman, said: “The challenge is the healthcare model as we know it. We know that as soon as an insurance company asks people to share this type of personal health data with them for monitoring purposes, most people become reluctant to share as they feel they are being watched and that this might have negative consequences on their policy. But it’s definitely one of the most exciting areas for wearables and I wish more bigger players would join forces to bring new concepts to market.”
Other findings from the study revealed that there are potentially serious privacy concerns over consumer-geared unmanned aircraft, or drones. More domestic drones than ever before were on display at CES with over a dozen companies displaying their wares. While the market is still nascent many companies believe that the consumer appeal will lie in simply flying them and taking videos.
Seventy-five per cent of respondents said that there should be privacy concerns over their use. Matser added: “The concept of drones brings a new dimension to our lives and the society we live in. We as people haven’t really grasped the impact of that.”
The survey also found that opinion was split over how safe the technology behind driverless cars was. Mercedes-Benz and BMW displayed models of cars that used technology including laser-sensors built into the front and rear bumpers that is fed into an on-board computer. The Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion concept car has rotating front seats so that the driver and front passengers can fully turn their chairs and chat to people sitting in the rear, while the car autonomously drives itself.
Despite the UK government recently announcing that it had released funding for trials of driverless cars, there does seem to be some way to go to convince the public of their safety. Thirty seven per cent of respondents said that they wouldn’t trust a driverless car while only 34 per cent said they would.
There was better news for advocates of the connected home however. More than 85 per cent of people in the survey said that is was likely to happen – and nearly a quarter thought it was sure to happen.
Wunderman surveyed more than 750 employees from across its global network.