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The wearables market is growing, and has consumer attention as witnessed during CES 2015, but age, income and gender demographics are quite different between smartwatch and fitness tracker owners. Trying to create appealing products and price points requires insight into who is purchasing these devices - and how to cater to their specific needs - but that can be a daunting task for manufacturers.
Thirty-six percent of fitness tracker consumers in the United States are 35 to 54 years old, 41 percent make an average income of more than $100,000, and 54 percent were women. The NPD Group report also found that one in 10 US adults own some form of a fitness tracker.
Meanwhile, 69 percent of smartwatch owners are 18 to 34 years old, 71 percent are male, and 48 percent have an income below $45,000.
CES 2015 - Intel is pushing further into the wearables market after announcing a strategic partnership with eyewear maker Oakley. Intel will provide hardware and Oakley is going to roll out luxury and sports eyewear products mixed with smart technology - a great test platform for Intel's Curie ship.
"The product has to be authentic for us to be credible," said Colin Baden, CEO of Oakley, during a session at the Oakley booth. "If we are going to produce something that has this augmented experience, we can't have the front row laughing at us. We have to have the respect of the people who have represented us for the last 40 years, and if we fail at that, then we are making something that is novelty. And we are not about novelties. We are about real science and real technology."
CES 2015 has seen a large number of wearable-related news, as companies produce cheaper, functional smart devices.
Biometric smart clothing company Hexoskin has announced the Hexoskin Junior, the world's first biometric shirt for kids and teenagers.
The shirt makes it possible to track the following: heart rate, step count, sleep duration, calories burned, heart rate recovery, heart rate variability, breathing rate, breathing volume, activity level, acceleration, cadence, and more.
The custom biometric shirt can measure 42,000 data points per minute, with data sent via Bluetooth in real-time, designed to help coaches and athletes better understand their performance. Manufactured to be extremely lightweight, warm, and comfortable, it can measure biometrics during physical activity and sleep - with the Bluetooth device connected to fabric sensors inside of a built-in pocket.
CES 2015 - Intel has publicly unveiled its Curie module, a button-sized hardware product that utilizes Quark SE to help power wearable products. It is so small that it can actually be used in a coat button, as demonstrated during the keynote.
The Quark SE system-on-chip (SOC) module uses a low-power, 32-bit microcontroller with 384 kb of flash, Bluetooth Low Energy support, and an accelerometer and gyroscope combination sensor. The chip will publicly launch during Q3 or Q4 this year, with partners including Fossil Group, MICA and Opening Ceremony, SMS Audio, and Basis Peak.
"The rise of new personal computing experiences, intelligent and connected devices, and the wearable revolution are redefining the relationship between consumers and technology," said Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO. "Our goal with Intel technology is to help solve real problems and enable experiences that are truly desired by people and businesses."
CES 2015 - GUESS Watches announced the launch of the GUESS Connect, a smartwatch that supports hands-free and eyes-free notifications directly from a mobile device to the device.
Based on Martian technology, the smartwatch has a microphone and audio speaker, and supports a voice command app so wearers can issue voice commands, talk, listen, and respond to text messages from the watch. Google Android and Apple iOS mobile users will be able to modify which alerts are sent to the smartwatch, with vibration patterns alerting them to received messages, emails, text messages, and other data.
"The GUESS Connect Smartwatch, powered by Martian, represents one of the first true marriages of a fashion watch powerhouse and a wireless technology innovator," said Cindy Livingston, president and CEO of Sequel/GUESS Watches, in a press statement. "We are thrilled to move in this direction with a proven technology innovator to create smart, GUESS designs."
CES 2015 - GPS product company Gartner has unveiled the vivofit 2 activity tracker, a smart device that has one year of battery life and can be worn 24/7. The wearable also includes interchangeable stylish bands that gives owners extra fashion flexibility.
The device tracks progress all day and includes audible alerts that remind users when they need to get up and moving.
The Garmin vivofit 2 has a $129.99 MSRP and $169.99 with a heart hate monitor strap.
CES 2015 - At the Samsung CES 2015 press conference, teh South Korean giant reiterated the important of the latest emerging technology VR. Samsung of course has its Galaxy Note 4-powered Gear VR headset that it worked with Oculus VR on, but there's also Milk VR.
Milk VR is Samsung's VR content delivery service, where there will be new apps, games and content every week. The company announced today at CES 2015 in Las Vegas that it was partnering up with many different companies, such as Boiler Room, Matador, Mountain Dew, NBA and Red Bull Media House.
CES 2015 - Tracking device company Trackimo officially launched in North America during the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), with the company promoting its small, affordable and feature-rich tracking devices in Las Vegas.
The company is showing off the Trackimo Universal, a compact, lightweight device that measures just 45mm x 18mm x 40mm. The device can be quickly attached to backpacks, bikes, luggage, and similar products - and can be hardwired directly into a vehicle.
"We're very excited to be part of the Trackimo Worldwide team and to be launching Trackimo into the North American market," said Jim Prandine, VP of sales of Trackimo North America. "Trackimo Universal covers dozens of applications in various channels, and our new upcoming products will broaden consumer demand even further."
Smartwatch manufacturer nevo has announced the nevo solar, the world's first solar powered analog smartwatch for the consumer market. Even with frequent use, nevo partnered with Sunpartner Technologies, utilizing the Wysips solution to help generate electricity through exposure to light.
The nevo solar will be released in August 2015, but no pricing details were made available.
"When we developed nevo we made battery life a top priority," said Sebastien Druven, co-founder and CEO of nevo. "Our standard dual battery system and low-consumption technology freed users from the inconvenience of nightly charging and now we're taking that concept to its ultimate conclusion - solar power. With nevo solar we capture the unlimited power of light. Our users will never have to worry about charging."
Fitness wearables grabbed the most attention in 2014, as prices dropped and consumers became more familiar with the technology. As the transition to medical wearables becomes more common, tracking healthcare on a more frequent basis will give healthcare providers better ability to diagnose potential medical problems.
About one-fourth of the total US population, roughly 80 million people, are Baby Boomers and the first wave will begin turning 70 years old in 2016. Life expectancy continues to climb, so additional collected health data collected by wearables should prove valuable to doctors.
"The wearables market is starting to see technology that produces richer and more precise user data than ever before," said Sonia Sousa, CEO of Kenzen, in a statement to InformationWeek. "The problem we're seeing is that most fitness trackers are offering a flat world of data, without much insight beyond what an accelerometer can capture."