Wearable technology: beyond the buzz

Brilliant Noise has partnered with Brandwatch on a research project analysing over eight million online conversations about wearable technology.

Key findings include:

  • A rapid rise in the volume of conversation, with a 190% increase from Q1 2013 to Q1 2014.
  • Google Glass, Fitbit and Nike Fuelband are the most discussed products (51%, 27%, 11% respectively).
  • When discussing intent to purchase, Fitbit is the most discussed product (44%).
  • Most conversation comes from the US and UK (70% and 7% respectively).
  • Most conversation is on Twitter (75%).
  • When discussing ownership of wearable tech, more conversations take place on on forums (40%) than elsewhere.
  • MyFitnessPal and Weight Watchers are the top two forums for discussion of wearable tech ownership.
  • 65% of the conversation comes from men.
  • Women are more positive than men when discussing ownership of wearables (women’s commentary is 17% positive, vs men’s commentary which is 12% positive).

While a lot of the buzz is around Google Glass, people are more likely to be actively talking about buying a Fitbit. This is very likely to be down to the fact that the Fitbit has been available to the public for some time and is becoming mainstream, while Google Glass is still an outlier. The focused purpose and lower price point of the Fitbit have also helped it to achieve wide appeal. Product owners are more likely to discuss their products on forums than elsewhere – possibly because these are places they can discuss particular features or issues with other product owners, and in longer form than Twitter. These discussions are primarily in online spaces specifically related to health discussion, such as MyFitnessPal and Weight Watchers. It will be interesting to see how the conversations around Glass develop when it becomes available to the wider market.

Natalie Meehan, Marketing Insights Analyst at Brandwatch said of the report: “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.”

This infographic illustrates these key findings:

 

The full report, which includes a focus on smart apparel can be viewed here.

Image credit: Gisela Giardino via Flickr