There’s one thing with technology and it will never change- It keeps reinventing itself! One of the latest entrants to the tech market is Wearable Technology.

Wearable technology or wearables are clothing and accessories that integrate computer and other electronic technologies. The design usually incorporates utility features and functions but may also just be for aesthetic purpose. Some examples of current products in the Wearable Tech space range from something as simple as a wrist watch calculator to something as sophisticated as a Google Glass.

Although the sector itself is at the outset, a number of surveys have given out positive results. The Workforce Institute at Kronos “Wearables at Work” survey finds that people around the world are ready to embrace wearables both at home and work.

People in India, particularly, responded very positively towards incorporation of wearable devices in their daily lives. 91 and 72 percent Indian Respondents believed that Wearables could benefit the workplace and home respectively.  However, historical trends have shown that Technology-freaks are much more inclined towards their adoption than the common man.

Backing the results of this survey, the Accenture Digital Consumer Tech Survey 2014 found that more than 52 percent consumers are interested in buying wearable technologies such as fitness monitors for tracking physical activity and managing their personal health. Among the six countries, in which the survey was conducted, Indian consumers was found to be most interested in buying products like Fitness Monitors, (80 percent), smart watches (76 percent) and Internet-enabled eyeglasses (74 percent).

Many industry experts say that the Indian market is a much more niche market and will continue to remain so in the future. It is likely to see considerable developments around security and health care sector (B2B and consumer, both).

When talking about figures, according to a study by Juniper Research, Global wearable computing device shipments are expected to increase to 150 million units by 2018, ten times that of last year. And India is expected to make a major contribution in this.

The future of Wearable Technology in India seems bright. Some reasons for such a high interest are:

  • Increasing Technology Adoption: The penetration of Technology in India is growing at an incredible pace. Indians are ready to adapt and embrace new technologies. With a huge chunk of population being less than 35, the tech savvy youth is leading the way in this sector.
  • Personalized Digital Experiences: One thing wearable tech does is it provides personalized experience to the consumer. Wearables can be used for a host of functions – from monitoring your footsteps on one’s personal Pedometer to getting hands-free notifications on the Google Glasses. Wearable Technology provides a tailor-made experience to the consumer. Accenture’s Global MD has said, “India is clearly a major growth market for consumer electronics. Craving more personalised digital experiences, the country’s consumers rank among the world’s most willing to pay for and use consumer electronics devices — including wearable technologies,”
  • Simplicity & ease of use: Wearable technology incorporates the human body into the design and has been geared towards providing a convenient experience. Innovations like a GoQII fitness band which slides down the wrist comfortably to monitor and regulate fitness levels or a Lumos solar backpack which can charge electronic gadgets using solar energy with ease are all aimed towards facilitating day-to-day activities with comfort and ease.
  • Increased Productivity: As wearables are designed keeping in my mind the human and his preference for custom-data, they are increasing efficiency and productivity at the workplace. This opens a host of opportunities in the B2B segment as well. An example would be a utility helmet for a construction worker.
  • Safety: Wearables in the safety and security space have been a major contributor to the industry. A number of devices like a safety bracelet/necklace which makes it easier for the consumer to call for help or B2B applications which monitor patients’ health on a real-time basis.

The wearable technology space is poised to have a good future in India. However, some issues which companies need to keep in mind include trust and privacy of the buyers, cost to consumers and competition from existing technologies. A strong rival is presented to the industry in the form of an incumbent challenger – the Smart Phone.

For wearable products to take off, they will need to carve out a distinct value proposition and keep humans at the forefront of design and strategy.

From the above findings, I believe wearable technology has considerable support and an environment to thrive in. The B2B segment, particularly, seems exciting. With a whirlwind of applications to increase productivity and enhance security, Wearables will find a willing consumer in corporations.

As historical data suggests that only the tech-freak consumers are early adopters and the excitement among the common man is not outweighed by the cost of such technology, wearables in the Consumer segment is likely to face some major challenges like mass-adoption and overcoming perceived personality.

Tanvi Binani

Tanvi is a student at SSCBS, DU. The views expressed are based upon the analysis and research that the writer did on the topic from various books, reports and web articles.  The writer regularly writes for Corporate Monks as a research associate. The writer takes personal responsibility for the ownership of the content shared and incase some sources have not been given credit, you can directly mail the writer