What do wearable devices bring to market research? Are wearable devices like Google Glass viable alternatives to mobile handsets for market research?

Alex Johnson

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Wearable technology has received much recent attention, as Google and Samsung launch the first models and early adopting consumers rush to buy; and with Samsung set to release Samsung Glass, its version of Google Glass, the market is considered to be huge by commentators.

A number of fitness-related wearable devices (such as Fitbit or Nike's FuelBand) have been on the market for some time, as well as more specialist medical devices allowing patients to monitor health conditions. These 'wearable sensors' also fall under the general heading of 'wearables' and represent a trend of interest to market research – the quantified self. A logical progression from the described self (social media), here we see consumers are using devices to monitor their behaviours and physiology, then online services to examine their data and share it with others.