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Adobe envisages 2016 as the year of wearables

'The year of...' is a much-derided term among many in the digital industry. But statistics published recently by enterprise software giant Adobe indicate 2016 will be the year wearables become a mainstream concern for marketers, as over half of all smartphone owners have already used a household device connected to the internet.

Adobe Digital Index (ADI) Digital Trends Report examines the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) and consumer attitudes towards 'wearables', such as the Apple iWatch, and the knock-on effect on how users will access the internet.

The report claims 51 per cent of existing smartphone owners have already interacted with a home-based IoT device - such as a thermostat that can be controlled via a smartphone app.

Adobe also examined user sentiment towards such trends by analysing attitudes expressed in over 20 billion social media interactions, finding that 33 per cent of those analysed had used a digital personal assistant service, such as Apple's Siri, in the last 30 days.

Facebook M - the Siri-like service still in beta in the US, that was first reported earlier this year - was the most eagerly anticipated, with 75 per cent of all mentions of the service recorded as positive, according to the study.

A fifth of the Facebook M mentions on social media reflect anticipation, this is four times the percentage of other digital assistants, according to the numbers. "What excites users is the prospect of the extra functionality M will bring by translating searches into action," according to ADI analyst Joe Martin.

The study also contained a survey component where researchers quizzed 400 participants on their planned purchases for 2016, with the number of people who owned a smartwatch expected to increase from 18 per cent presently, to 37 per cent next year.

Unsurprisingly, Apple's iWatch was the leader in the sector, with 61 per cent of those who said they plan to purchase a smartwatch in 2016 saying they would also purchase an iWatch, with the offshoot being that internet access via wireless devices expected to surpass desktop in 2016.

For instance, currently mobile device's share of the overall weekend internet usage stands at 48 per cent, but this is expected to surge further in 2016, with the majority of all web traffic on weekdays expected to reach the tipping point throughout the 12 month period.

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