The wearable debate continues at this year’s Mobile World Congress as the show floor has been well and truly taken over by wearable technology. In addition to new smartphones and tablets, just about every major company at Mobile World Congress also launched a wearable product. LG had two new watches, HTC had a VR headset and an activity tracker, and Huawei’s entire press conference basically focused on wearable technology. But what do the consumers think about the wearable hype?

Recent research from experiential agency Fizz, found that 61% of UK adults would not buy wearable technology. 37% believe they have no need for a wearable product and 15% claim wearables are just a “fad”. The concept of wearable technology is alien to most; people don’t know what it’s for in the first place and how they should use it. We’ve been sleeping and exercising for ages without the need to examine pools of data telling us how well we’re performing, so why do we need them now?

Consumers who eagerly bought devices like the Fitbit are ditching them due to lack of interest. eBay is currently flooded with people trying to get rid of their Galaxy Gear, Nike has ended the production of the Fuelband and the general public think Google Glass owners are creepy.

A recent example of a “fad” product is from Pornhub, the popular pornographic video sharing network. Earlier this week Pornhub announced that it is entering the wearable tech market with a wristband that harnesses kinetic energy from masturbation to charge devices. The Wankband looks very much like a fitness watch and contains an internal weight that gathers power when moved in a rhythmic manner. This power can then be harnessed to power personal devices like phones or laptops. It claims to provide a cleaner alternative to usable energy that is beneficial to the environment, but is this really necessary? Will consumers really buy into this if they’re not even interested in the basic products already available on the market?

Concerns around cost, privacy and style are just a few of the reasons why wearable tech is not on consumers’ radar yet. Plus, the audience interested in tracking all aspects of their lives and willing to wear a visible gadget is very niche, only catering to early adopters. This is also one of the reasons why fitness trackers only predict to reach 250 million people by 2017, which is only about 3% of all mobile users.

As the wearable debate continues after MWC, hopefully technology brands will shed more light on the benefits of wearable technology to a wider audience. 

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