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Wearable tech needs to be more fashionable, says Beecham

Clare McDonald

A recent paper by Beecham Research has found technology companies do not have the right approach to wearable technology and devices are not what consumers want to wear.

According to Beecham’s, technology firms are placing too much focus on device aesthetics or functionality, but fail to properly combine these aspects.

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“Wearable devices are not the next evolution of smartphone,” said Saverio Romero, principal analyst for Beecham Research.

“We see wearable tech as playing a critical role in the drive to greater connectivity and the internet of things, where we will interact with intelligent spaces through wearable devices.”

The research firm highlights that technology companies alone cannot drive the wearable technology trend, as there needs to be a focus on what consumers actually want to wear.

Claire Duke Wolley, Fashion technology analyst for Beecham Research, said products such as Google Glass were not originally accepted because there is no way to adapt how they look, and if consumers do not like the look of a product, they are less likely to wear it.

When Apple introduced its first iPhone, it wasn’t the most technologically advanced smartphone available at the time, but Apple created a really good combination of functionality and style and core branding, and it really understood its consumer," She explained.

Currently, Beecham Research forecasts that the wearable technology industry will be worth $3b by 2018, but has the potential to be worth up to $9.3bn if collaboration between market sectors is taken more seriously.

To do this, companies need to have more awareness of customers and how they want devices to look as well as what they want them to do. 

Wolley argues that, even where employees are required to wear devices for work, they are still more likely to benefit from them more if they enjoy wearing and using them.

She said: “Consumers don’t just buy technology because it’s good for them, we don’t like buying things people tell us we need and we don’t really buy things that people tells are good for us, we buy things because they have an intrinsic value to use individually.”


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