It has been one big year for wearable tech. We have seen a number of smart bands and smartwatches make their way to the market in 2014, but just who is buying these connected devices? Contrarily to popular belief, it's not just early adopters, at least not in Canada. According to a recent study by Nielsen, 18% of Canadians own a wearable device and are polarized between early adopters and mainstream users. These users are also both young and old. Nielsen found that wearable owners are over represented within both the 18 -24 and 35-55 age ranges.
Findings on the connected Canadian were presented by Nielsen at the November We Are Wearables Toronto event held at MaRS on November 25. The data Nielsen presented is part of a larger "Connected Life" study which examines Canadian trends related to Connected Homes, Connected Cars and Wearable Technology. We Are Wearables partnered with Nielsen to gather smartwatch-specific statistics which were also presented at the event.
16% of Canadian wearable users own a smartwatch which is about 3% of the total population, a figure that is sure to grow as prices begin to drop and new entrants like the Apple Watch becomes available in 2015. Unlike the general wearable user, the profile of a Canadian smartwatch owner skews more towards a younger early adopter with a high household income. Interestingly enough, Nielsen found that those that many smartwatch owners were eager to buy another, calling them smartwatch "addicts". According to the study, 39% of actual smartwatch owners intend to buy another smartwatch this year or next.
It was clear from the study that smartwatches aren't just sitting on user's wrists looking pretty. 44% of smartwatch users indicated that they use their smartwatch everyday with the most compelling reasons to have a smartwatch being text message and email notifications, fitness tracking and, of course, telling the time.
More findings around wearables, smartwatches and the connected Canadian can be found in the full Nielsen presentation which can be downloaded here or viewed below.
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