Report: People are talking about wearable tech

According to an analysis of over 8 million online conversations about wearable tech over the last year, there has been a 190% increase around the topic. Brilliant Noise recently carried out some desk research and used data supplied by Brandwatch to examine recent discussions around wearable device.

Conversation

When users of wearable devices were asked how useful these gadgets have been, 82% of them believe that wearable tech has enhanced their lives. If you ask us, that’s a pretty good number for a product category that has only recently taken off. As previously reported on Bits & Pieceswearable tech is projected to experience a surge in the coming years while Atmel will remain smack dab in the middle of the revolution — both in terms of hardware and social conversation.

Considering the 190% increase in mentions of wearable tech over the past year, more people are exhibiting interest than are not. With its jump in online discussions around wearables from 2013 to 2014, Google Glass was the most talked about product, closely followed by Fitbit, Nike Fuelband and of course, the recently-announced iWatch.

According to the report, Google Glass accounted for about half (51%) of the conversation as the smart glasses garnered over 2.8 million mentions. Fitbit, which has been talked about almost 1.5 million times, made up 27% of the wearable conversation volume with Nike’s Fuelband just behind at 11%. While a lot of the buzz is around the newly-unveiled iWatch and highly-popular Google Glass, the study showed that people are more likely to be actively talking about purchasing a Fitbit and Pebble, which have become quite ubiquitous amongst “affluent modern city-dwellers.”

Most Discussed

Furthermore, 32% of U.S. adults have or plan to purchase wearable tech within two years while nearly 61% of the current wearable tech market is sports and activity trackers — some of which powered by AVR or ARM-core 32-bit chips.

“One of the interesting things that came from this research – perhaps that we weren’t expecting – is that chatter about wearable tech is no longer confined to the water cooler in the engineering department. Discussion about wearables has become far more commonplace in mainstream society, and we’re seeing more types of people talking about it, and in more kinds of places. Just like with smart phones or tablets almost a decade ago, we’re on the cusp of a cultural shift that reflects our changing attitudes towards how we live with technology,” explained Natalie Meehan, Marketing Insights Analyst at Brandwatch.

Where

Most wearable discussions are coming from the United States with 70% of mentions and the UK – which actually only accounts for less than 10% of the mentions — with men making up nearly two-thirds (65%) of the conversation. However, the study found that women are more positive than men when discussing ownership of wearables (women’s commentary is 17% positive, unlike men whose commentary is 12% positive).

Wearable technology doesn’t stop at the wrist or eyes either. In fact, clothing and accessories embedded with computer and advanced electronic technology is among one of the fastest growing segments. In 2015, the smart clothing worldwide market revenue is projected to be worth $1.24 billion. As the report notes, ‘smarter’ clothing will likely be used not only used for health and wellness tracking, but for industrial, military and infotainment purposes as well; reason being, embedded clothing itself is seen to offer a more ubiquitous experience than separate sports monitoring accessories, potentially making the latter obsolete.

Beyond providing users with real-time data about their health or an augmented view of their world, wearable tech will continue play an integral role in the Internet of Things, which refers to a future world where all types of electronic devices (including those adorned to our bodies) link to each other via the web. As this market continues to take shape, you can expect to find a number of Atmel’s versatile microcontrollers (MCUs) powering a wide range of innovative platforms and wearable devices.

You can read the Brandwatch report or check out its infographic in their entirety here.

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