The study, conducted by US-based cloud company Rackspace and believed to be the first of its kind, at least in Australia, found that 35% of Australians have used wearable technology such as health and fitness monitors, smart glasses, watches, clothing, or cameras, ahead of 18% in the UK and US. 64% of those believe these cloud-powered devices have enhanced their lives.
The study, “The Human Cloud: Wearable Technology from Novelty to Productivity,” was commissioned by Rackspace and conducted by Pure Profile, which surveyed 750 Australians aged 18-64. It comes as Google readies its Galaxy Gear smartwatch in Australia, and Apple is heavily rumoured to be entering the fray too.
Key findings from the survey:
- 67% of Australians who have used wearable technology stated that it has improved their health and fitness
- One in four believe that wearable tech has helped their career development
- 32% of Australian respondents that have used wearable tech say that it has made them feel more intelligent, and 44% say it has help them keep more informed
- Wearable tech has boosted self-confidence for 37% of respondents who have used it
- One in three believe that wearable tech helps them feel more in control of their lives
- 22% of Australian respondents who use wearable tech do it to enhance their love lives
“We are at the beginning of massive mainstream uptake of wearable devices, with the impending launch of wearable devices from a variety of multinational organisations set to further boost adoption,” said Angus Dorney, Director and General of Rackspace Australia.
“However, it is important to note that wearable technology and the cloud go hand in hand - together they provide the rich data insights that help users better manage many aspects of their lives.
One in four Australians would be willing to use a wearable health and fitness monitor that shares personal data with a healthcare provider if it led to incentives such as reduced premiums or fees.
For more findings, including privacy concerns surrounding Google Glass, continue to page two.
“The rich data created by wearable tech will drive the rise of the ‘human cloud’ of personal data,” said Dorney.
“With this comes countless opportunities to tap into this data; whether it’s connecting with third parties to provide more tailored and personalised services or working closer with healthcare institutions to get a better understanding of their patients. We are already seeing wearable technology being used in health insurance firms, who encourage members to use wearable fitness devices to earn rewards for maintaining a healthier lifestyle.
"Organisations need to assess whether they are ready to capture and process this rich new source of data. They also need to consider how they will drive deeper customer understanding and new benefits from this technology revolution.
“The growth of wearable technology devices tailored for the health and fitness market is exploding and is a trend we expect to continue.
"With 16 million registered members and more than 200,000 health and fitness activities being logged daily by MapMyFitness users, our ability to effectively manage this data is critical,” said Robin Thurston, CEO of MapMyFitness.
Meanwhile one in five respondents thought Google Glass should be banned due to privacy concerns.
Despite the many benefits that wearable technology is set to deliver for both consumers and governments, there remain serious concerns about privacy, with nearly half (49%) of respondents citing it as a barrier to adoption. Almost one in four (24%) think Google Glass and other wearable devices should be regulated in some form. A further 24% are calling for these devices to be banned entirely.