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The wearables ecosystem continues to grow rapidly with all manner of connected devices from fitness trackers in trainers and connected eyewear and is of course buoyed by the recent launches of smartwatches from the likes of Apple and Samsung.

What remains consistent is the inevitability of connected devices’ need to create and use consumer data to monetise the services that wearable hardware supports. Indeed the sustainability of this ecosystem is largely dependent on consumers sharing their personal data through the apps and services that they use.

By its definition, personal data for such services is often hyper-sensitive. A user’s location or health statistics generated by a fitness band need to consider privacy and security. Here we look at the market stats and user cases that show the potential of wearables and how consumer trust is a key component to ensuring a sustainable mobile (connected) future.

Connected Lifestyle and Consumer Trust are two of the 17 categories in MEF’s annual awards – the Meffys – the industry benchmark for the evolution of mobile. Get your (connected) skates on – the entry deadline is the 31st of July.


The Connected Lifestyle

1. According to the most recent forecast data from the IDC, vendors will ship a total of 45.7 million wearables in 2015, up a strong 133.4% from the 19.6 million units shipped in 2014.

Propelling the market is an increased focus on smart wearables, or those devices capable of running third-party applications such as the Apple Watch and Samsung’s Gear watches.

wearables2. Adobe Digital Indexpredicts there will be “unexpected demand for Apple Watch” with 27 per cent of 1,000 consumers polled who don’t currently own a smartwatch indicating that they are “very likely” to buy one in next six months. Of those, 67 per cent said they would buy the Apple Watch.

3. SNS Research estimates that fitness and sports centric wearable device shipments will grow at 28 per cent per annum over the next 5 years, eventually accounting for 80 Million device shipments by the end of 2020.

4. By 2016 it is estimated that wearable device shipments will surpass 140 Million and will account for nearly $30 Billion in revenue.

Wearables have the biggest impact on personal fitness but increasingly they are being seen as a way to improve work place conditions, reduce insurance costs and as a tool for remote patient care.

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 09.39.365. Insurer John Hancock’s Vitality program offers up to 15% off its life insurance to customers who voluntarily share health data collected in part via a free Fitbit.

6. This study by PwC reveals that more than half of employees surveyed would consider wearing a smart watch given to them by their employer, if their data was used to improve things such as working hours, conditions and stress levels, with the goal of improving their well-being at work.

7. In the US it is estimated that wearables could drop hospital costs by 16% over the five years, and remote patient monitoring technologies could save our healthcare system $200 billion over the next 25 years.

8. 68% of consumers would wear employer-provided wearables streaming anonymous data to an information pool in exchange for lower health insurance costs.

Consumer Trust

9. MEF’s Consumer Trust Report showed that only 13 per cent of consumers are always happy to share personal data vs 21 per cent in 2013.

10. According to a TRUSTe survey, 22 per cent of respondents felt that the benefits of smart devices outweigh privacy concerns, however, the vast majority want to know what data collected and how that data is collected.

For example, 87 per cent are concerned about the type of information collected.

“There’s data collection and data use, and if we’re being upfront, businesses need to have a much clearer data use policy. If they are collecting data, they are creating risk.”

Forrester analyst Fatemeh Khatibloo


11. A study by PwC indicated that trust is the main potential barrier to people being willing to share their personal data with their employer. A full 41 per cent say they don’t trust their boss not to use the data against them in some way.

12. 82 per cent of consumers in this study indicated that they are worried that wearable technology would invade their privacy. Eighty-six per cent expressed concern that wearables would make them more prone to security breaches.

13. A recent report by Orange found that only 6 per cent of respondents felt consumers benefit the most from data sharing, while 67 per cent believe it is companies that benefit.


meffys logoJudged by expert panels of international journalists, analysts, academics and VCs, the Meffys provide companies and innovators with an unrivalled opportunity to be considered for one of the global mobile industry’s top accolades.

The 2015 awards have 17 categories in total, as well as innovation there are Market & Sector awards including Consumer Trust, Mobile First markets, Enterprise and Social & Entertainment.

Deadline for entries is 31st July 2015 – get yours in now.