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Portables Technology

A Third of Consumers Who Bought Wearable Devices Have Ditched Them 180

An anonymous reader writes "The Guardian reports on research (PDF) into the (alleged) wearable device trend: fully one third of customers who bought one stopped using it within six months. Activity trackers fared even worse: half of them are collecting dust. 'For comparison, you wouldn't find people from the early days of the smartphone saying that they'd abandoned their BlackBerry, Treo or Windows Mobile or Symbian phone. They were the early adopters, and they found utility in having email and (sometimes) web pages on the move. The idea of giving them up just wouldn't occur to them. ... So far, there aren't clear signs of quite what it is that smartwatches and fitness trackers are replacing, in the way that [early] music players did. Useful new technology has to replace or simplify some function, ideally; otherwise it has the challenge of persuading us that we need this entirely new thing. Smartphones are simpler ways to collect your email – and also make phone calls and surf the web (and so on). Fitness trackers... let you track your fitness. But given that 41% of people run with their smartphones, you might get by with a movement tracking app instead. The trouble with devices that claim to track your steps is they're so easily hoaxed by waving your arms around.'"
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A Third of Consumers Who Bought Wearable Devices Have Ditched Them

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  • by Thruen ( 753567 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @09:26AM (#46638393) []

    Sorry. I kind of wish it was just a trend too, but the fact is, the Wii is still very popular with a lot of people. It seems like a joke to a lot of more "hardcore" gamers, but it's still dominant in a market that was largely ignored before: casuals. I don't play Wii much anymore, especially since I picked up a PS4, but when I do it's because my girlfriend still enjoys it more than any other platform we've tried, and we try every game we can to see if she's interested.

    Is it the future of console gaming? No. But for a lot of people it's all they'll ever need for a price they can easily afford.
  • by Savage-Rabbit ( 308260 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @09:42AM (#46638523)

    Wearable devices will not be massively popular unless they will be as simple to use as headphones.

    Maybe you are different but I don't carry headphones either and frankly I think headphones are a huge PITA. Headphones require all kinds of annoying cable wrangling or if wireless all kinds of unreliable setups that you are constantly dicking around with. Useful? Yes. Simple? Not so much.

    I carry precisely 3 items 99% of the time - phone, wallet and keys - and I'd do away with any of them if I had a reasonable way to do so. I don't mind carrying a fitness tracker if I'm actually doing exercise but otherwise the phone should serve that purpose. I don't want to wear a special purpose device unless I'm doing something rather specific. I don't wear a watch except on rare occasions because they serve little purpose these days (clocks are everywhere) and are annoying to wear if you don't have to.

    Generally I agree with you and I can see your point with corded headphones but cordless (Bluetooth) ones work fine for me. I used to go through a ton of corded headphones. Usually they'd wear out due to metal fatigue just above the plug to save money. For years I used to shorten the chord and solder it back to the plug like a true penny pinching geek. Then I finally gave up and spent an obscene amount of money on a set of Sennheiser MM 550-X Bluetooth headphones. So far they have, well .... just worked. I also have a couple of sets of Sennheiser MM200 earplugs phones, also Bluetooth. Same story here, they just work. The first set finally wore out after three years of daily use so I bought a second one on sale since this model is out of production now. The only complaint I have so far is that the audio quality suffers a bit because of the Bluetooth link but not so much that I'd forgo the comfort of being wireless.

    Speaking of special purpose devices, what I'd really like for safety reasons is a __proper__ HUD for my car. There are after market ones but most of the suck, a HUD should be standard equipment in every car.

  • Re:Women's clothing (Score:4, Informative)

    by sandytaru ( 1158959 ) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @10:33AM (#46638993) Journal
    Actually, I'm a married woman wearing a pair of pants that have no pockets right now, and I'm annoyed because I thought they did when I bought them. (They even have fake silky hanging things on the inside - I usually feel around on the inside of pants before I buy them to see if the pockets are fake or real, and the presence of lining material behind them usually indicates they're real but sewn shut for display purposes. Nope! Not this pair. The material is a single layer thick. I don't know why they even bothered. I couldn't even take them back because I took them straight to get shortened after I bought them. Thankfully, the other pairs I bought that day did have real pockets.)

    In this particular case, the "aesthetic" appearance of pants that have pocket outlines but not pockets is dumb. Plain and simple. Either have real pockets, or don't even try to pretend and have the front panel of the pants be smooth.

Someday your prints will come. -- Kodak