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As the field of wearable technology advances rapidly, Americans are trying to come to terms with the role of these devices in their personal lives. A recent MindSwarms study suggests that consumers are firmly divided into two camps: enthusiasts and rejectors.
MindSwarms Senior Project Manager, Ryan Brill, notes that "Although both groups demonstrate interest in staying connected with their bodies (particularly in regard to fitness), we found that opinions differ dramatically on the specific role that wearables should play."
Developers will need to consider how to design wearable technology to be aligned to the values of a wider spectrum of consumers.
Wearable fans and rejectors share the common goal of wanting to be more connected to their bodies and the moment, yet have polar opposite opinions about the role of computing in that journey.
The wearables audience segmentation appears binary at the moment: people are clearly in one camp or the other, with no shades of grey in between.
Wearables have the ability to be welcomed into consumers’ personal space. And, surprisingly, there doesn’t appear to be any fear about the misuse or abuse of that information amongst fans.
The fact that wearables are beginning to be described in very human terms may mean people are emotionally ready to accept computers as a genuine relationship partner versus just a pure tech tool.
There may be tension building between those who embrace wearables as an extension of the themselves, and those who continue to see wearables as an enemy of human instinct.