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Wrist-mounted wearables prove hot with consumers as smart glasses fall out of favour, says Forrester

The Apple watch will bring wearables into the mainstream

The wrist is the most popular spot for wearable technology, according to a consumer report from Forrester.

In the online survey of 4,556 US and 11,647 EU adults, wrist-bound devices proved to be the most anticipated wearable products for consumers.

A total 42 per cent of US and 36 per cent of EU shoppers said they would opt for a smartwatch or fitness tracker.

Technology capable of clipping onto users’ clothing appealed to a third of US respondents and just under a quarter of those in Europe.

Clothing-embedded tech scored 19 per cent of US and 15 per cent of EU shoppers while smart earbuds and headphones attracted a fifth of US consumers’ interest and a tenth of the EU market.

Least popular were smart glasses – such as Google Glass – which drew in only 18 per cent of US and 12 per cent of EU wearable enthusiasts.

Surfing the popularity of wrist-mounted technology will no doubt be the Apple Watch scheduled for release around spring 2015. Notable also is Sony’s experimental entry into the market with the minimalist FES watch, a secretly crowdfunded e-paper smartwatch announced last month.

A blog post from JP Gownder, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester discussed wrist-mounted wearables: “Fitbit, Samsung, Pebble, Jawbone and other vendors have begun the process of educating the market about wrist-based wearables – a process that Apple, Microsoft, Intel’s Basis, and others will continue.”

On clothing and shoes Gownder added: “Wearables embedded in, or clipped onto, clothing and shoes show under-appreciated interest. Ralph Lauren debuted its Polo Tech smart shirt with OMSignal’s technology at the US Open, while Ducere’s Lechal uses haptic feedback to create screen-free GPS in smart shoes.”

Regarding ear and eye wearables he concluded: “Smart earbuds/headphones and smart glasses show under-appreciated interest. Additionally, 43 per cent of US online adults tell us they might be interested in Google Glass if the price were right. We predict that Apple will turn Beats headphones into another node on the All-Body network, a Siri-powered device that interacts with iPhones and Apple Watches alike.”

This follows research from Kantar projecting the number of consumers with wearable tech in the UK to double in 2015.

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