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Buy-curious minxes and chaps fancy hot wrist action, rest of us baffled

Wearable tech ... we're talking about wearable tech

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Nearly half of Americans who took part in a survey have dismissed the notion of wearable computers as a fad, say pollsters. However, the tech could tempt peeps under the age of 36.

A recent study by Harris Interactive [PDF] found that 49 per cent of American adults quizzed doubt that wearable technology – think smartwatches and Google Glass spectacles – will catch on. The same number of folks reckoned wearable gadgets won't become as ubiquitous as smartphones.

Meanwhile, 35 per cent disagreed that wearable tech is just a fad, and 37 per cent believed wearable tech will be as common as smartmobes.

The report, for which 2,577 citizens were surveyed, said 40 per cent of those polled believed that wearable tech would be useful in their everyday lives, whereas 47 per cent disagreed with that. Some 36 per cent of adults polled said they were "at least a little interested" in Google Glass-like gear (20 per cent "very/somewhat interested") while 46 per cent were at least a little interested in a Pebble-like smartwatch (27 per cent very or somewhat interested).

Researchers said that, overall, some 46 per cent of the people they surveyed would be interested in purchasing a wearable device and 27 per cent said that their level of interest could be categorized as "somewhat" or "very" interested.

The skepticism extended to opinions on the aesthetics of wearable tech. Some 41 per cent of those polled did not think wearable devices could be stylish and 43 per cent believed that strapping a piece of gear to one's body will be considered cool.

As expected, younger respondents were more interested in wearing their gadgets. Some 63 per cent of people between the ages of 18 and 35 surveyed were interested in wearable technology, while 47 per cent of the 37-48 crowd wanted a wearable device.

Just 37 per cent of the 49-67 years crowd was interested, and the "mature" category of 68 and older respondents showed just a 32 per cent interest in a wearable device.

While researchers spotted an age gap in the perception wearable technology, income was not believed to be a factor. The pollsters reported that there was very little difference among income levels, though those at the higher end of the scale were more likely to be interested.

Additionally, the study found that those with children under the age of 18 were more likely to be at least somewhat interested in owning a wearable device.

Though wearable technology is still in its early days, the researchers believe that the overall figures suggest a significant amount of resistance among the public, meaning vendors will not only need to scale technological issues, but cultural roadblocks as well. ®

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