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Consumer Interest Quadruples in Wearable Fitness Devices
Dec 18, 2013
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Consumer interest in purchasing dedicated wearable fitness devices in the next 12 months quadrupled to 13% in 2013, from just 3% in 2012, making it the largest year-over-year increase for any category of fitness device, according to new research by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

Dedicated wearable fitness devices also tripled in ownership from 3% in 2012 to 9% in 2013.

The top three reasons people gave for using wearable fitness devices include:
• 52% motivation
• 47% monitoring fitness goal progress
• 46% monitoring physical activity levels or intensity

75% of online U.S. consumers own a fitness technology product, up from 61% in 2012.

The most popular fitness technology owned by consumers:
• pedometers, owned by 37% of consumers
• fitness video games, 26%
• portable blood pressure monitors, 21%

“CEA projects that the market for dedicated wearable fitness devices like body monitors and pedometers will continue to expand for the foreseeable future as more consumers become aware of these devices and an array of new products enter the market,” said Kevin Tillmann, senior research analyst, CEA.

Looking ahead, among consumers who indicate they plan to purchase a fitness technology product within the next year, the most desired products are dedicated wearable fitness devices, fitness apps, fitness video games and calories trackers, all at 13%. Potential buyers of fitness technology devices expressed the most interest in capabilities such as tracking statistics like heart rate (95%), calories burned (94%) and steps taken (92%).

Smart watches offer many desirable capabilities in the eyes of consumers, but some question the need to purchase one. 9% of online U.S. adults indicate they plan to purchase a smart watch in the next 12 months.

The most important features found in a smart watch among potential buyers were fitness-focused, including health monitoring (91%), peak performance monitoring (90%), and providing workout routines (82%).

CEA’s U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecast projects strong growth in the fitness and activity tracking devices market with U.S. shipment revenues estimated to reach $854 million in 2013, up 32% over 2012. CEA projects revenue to surpass $1 billion in 2014, for a 37% increase over 2013.

“Fitness technology owners indicate they are seeing personal progress in their overall health and/or on specific goals, such as losing weight or lowering blood pressure, using their devices as much or even more than they originally expected,” said Tillmann. “Not only are these fitness technology products catching on in the marketplace and experiencing strong growth in sales, consumers indicate they are experiencing positive results as well.”

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