The Olympics just ended, and we saw a lot of stories about how our elite athletes use tech, from the pool to the track to the gym, to be their best.
I’m an endurance athlete myself, so I can say with conviction we are suckers for technology, especially if we think it will help us get just a bit faster or stronger. I know I’m still waiting for my watch to help me go faster…
Today, just about half of all American adults use wearables, or plan to buy them shortly. As a result the market has expanded far beyond athletes and early adopters. This growth means there are now many consumers whose needs and attitudes are dramatically different from earlier generations of users.
The women pictured here are members of the Red Power Divas, a running team out of San Jose. They inspire me when I see them out on my runs. Because THIS is what real people look like when they commit to getting active.
Smart companies will pay attention to these new users. Because we know that with or without wearables, 100% of people want to be happy and healthy.
Nokia has done a lot of research into these category newcomers, including a recent online survey of 3200 adults. We learned three key things: 1. Significance: o It wasn’t long ago the head of the AMA dismissed health apps as “digital snake oil.” We need to redouble our efforts to base our solutions in medically credible, clinically valid science. This will increase the “trust factor” and get more people into the category.
2. Simplicity: o Everyone’s busy. People feel guilty about not eating right or getting enough exercise. They are confused by all the conflicting information – eggs are good, eggs are bad; fat is good/bad. They’re unsure how to get started on a new regimen. They’re not tech phobic but they don’t want another chore. As an industry, let’s keep it simple so they can get on the road to health.
3. And finally: Style. o For those who value beautiful design– we need to offer choices that don’t force trade-offs between performance and style. Not everyone wants a device that says “hey I’m counting steps and calories.” We think the analog watch style tracker (Hold up, Price is Right style, turn to face aud.) is just one attractive category-expanding option.
At Nokia, we’re thinking a lot about bringing new users into the category, and we invite the rest of the industry to do the same.
From Performance to Health: Wearables for the Rest of Us.