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Wearable technology

Dr Barbara Jamieson, Senior Teaching Fellow

Faculty Blog

A recent article in The Marketer provides interesting insights on some of the challenges holding up the diffusion of wearable technology (digital devices which can be worn on the body or in clothing) in consumer markets.  Think Google Glass, Samsung Galaxy Gear, Nike Fuelband, etc.

According to the article: ‘the reaction to wearable technology has been mixed so far' and consumer research indicates that, despite high awareness of wearable computing devices, actual usage is low.

It seems consumers are not yet convinced of the benefits of wearable technology and they are concerned about price, appearance and issues relating to privacy and security  (the use of covert video recordings and sharing personal data). While the marketers work through these barriers to adoption (see Marketing Module 5), it is heartening to learn that, wider afield, appreciation of the functionality and value of wearable devices is advancing; of particular note is the use of Google Glass in the training of future medics (Telegraph article).

Whilst some privacy issues need to be resolved,  some surgeons go so far as to say that Google Glass could be set to transform the way
surgery is performed and taught. Some clear benefits are emerging.  For example, the technology allows surgeons to constantly keep their eyes on the patient without the need  to move their head up and down to look at an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan or X-ray. Furthermore, the technology facilitates the live-streaming of operations to medical students, as seen through the eyes of the surgeon.

Yes, people buy benefits not products.