While smartphones and tablets still rule the roost in mobile advertising, a new screen is coming to town, as consumers are taking notice of the growing wearable technology market.
According to the NPD Group’s new Wearable Technology Study, 52 percent of consumers say they’ve heard of wearable technology devices such as smart glasses, smartwatches, and wearable fitness tracking devices. Among those aware of the devices, one-in-three say they are likely to buy one of them.
That’s an enormous segment of a fast-growing mobile-savvy market, and a positive development for advertisers and mobile app developers, all of whom may have a new screen to target with their work and very soon.
Wearable fitness devices, like the Fitbit and Jawbone UP, enjoy the highest level of awareness among consumers. According to the study, one in three consumers say they have heard of wearable fitness trackers, and among those consumers 28 percent say they are likely to buy a device. Among likely buyers, counting calories (50 percent) and tracking the number of steps taken in a day (32 percent) are the most sought after features. Just 6 percent say they would be interested in sharing their fitness data on a social network. Demographically, women (58 percent) outnumber men among prospective buyers.
“According to The NPD Group’s Retail Tracking Service, the digital fitness category has grown to over $330 million,” says Ben Arnold, executive director and industry analyst The NPD Group. “The market is now large enough to accommodate a variety of products aimed at all levels of athlete — from serious performance-minded consumers to hobbyists –a sure sign of maturity.”