Global survey finds 8 percent adoption of fitness wearables

By Brian Dolan
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According to a recent survey of 24,000 consumers in 24 countries, about 8 percent now own wearable fitness monitors and 6 percent own a wearable health monitor. The Accenture survey was conducted online between October and November. Respondents were aged 14 and older.

Snippet of Accenture Survey Results from "Engaging the Digital Consumer in the New Connected World" Snippet of Accenture Survey Results from "Engaging the Digital Consumer in the New Connected World"

According to the survey, 12 percent of respondents plan to buy a wearable fitness monitor in the next 12 months, while 10 percent expect to buy a wearable health monitor in the next year. About 40 percent expect to buy at least one of the two some time in the next five years. 

According to a different survey in November -- this one of 2,000 consumers -- conducted by Acquity Group, a subsidiary of Accenture, thirteen percent of consumers plan to purchase a health or fitness wearable device within the next year. That group concluded that fitness wearables would continue to be the most popular wearable device for the next five years.

Another interesting finding from Accenture's more recent survey: "An especially high percentage of consumers have challenges using wearable health devices". According to the firm's report on the survey's findings: 24 percent said that wearable health monitors are too complicated to use; 22 percent said they did not set up properly; and 21 percent said they don’t work as advertised. Accenture's separate category for wearable fitness monitors gave 20 percent of respondents trouble -- that's the percent that said such devices proved to be too complicated to use.

The survey covered smart devices more broadly -- everything from smartphones and tablets to smart home appliances and gadgets. For context, 23 percent respondents found smart thermostats too complicated to use, too.

Notably, fewer consumers said they were likely to purchase tablets, HDTVs, or smartphones in the next year than those consumers who participated in last year's survey.