Survey Suggests Consumers Prefer Smartwatches Over Glass

A common discussion about wearable technology is whether consumers will actually want to wear products like Google Glass. A survey among consumers commissioned by technology writer Jessica Lessin indicates that more people believe they might be more likely to own Apple’s smartwatch than they would Google Glass. A large number of respondents, however, also indicated they didn’t think they were likely to own either.

Of 417 Americans surveyed, 38 percent said they’d prefer Apple’s device, and only 17 percent say they’d prefer Google Glass. Six percent chose both, and 45 percent chose neither, according to Jessica Lessin’s tech publication site.

Additionally, 62 percent of respondents said they might own a smartwatch in the next five years, while only 41 percent said the same about Glass.

Google’s Glass device takes pictures and runs apps in the user’s eyesight, and it is still in “Explorer Program” mode. There has been some skepticism as to whether people will actually want to wear the slightly awkward, futuristic-looking glasses. Apple is working on its own wearable device, a smartwatch, though less is known about that product.

“I don’t know a lot of people that wear [glasses] that don’t have to,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the All Things Digital conference in May. “I think the wrist is interesting. The wrist is natural.”

“Many app developers and hardware companies are betting that a new generation of wearable devices will create a new hardware market,” writes Lessin. “In 2014, manufacturers are expected to ship 15 million smartwatches and by 2020 that number could reach 373 million, according to emerging markets research firm NextMarket.”

“Consumer surveys, of course, have their limits. Plenty of people were initially skeptical that tablets would upend the PC market, for instance. Attitudes can change once users learn more about the full range of features offered by a new class of hardware.”