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Here’s Who Uses Smartwatches And Fitness Bands: Which Are You?

Photo courtesy of Lorenzo Viola via Flickr

Which wearable fits you best, a smartwatch or fitness band?

In spite of compelling forecasts, we’ve yet to be overcome by the wave of wearables many have predicted would knock off us our toes. There’s been no tsunami yet, but the tide is certainly rising, especially with the Apple Watch forecasted for a Spring 2015 release, possibly in March.

When it comes to wearable technology, it’s always been a wrist-first immersion. But as it turns out, the smartwatch and the fitness band attract totally different people — in fact, the groups hardly overlap.

The wearable-wearers

A consumer trend survey of 5,000 Americans, released on January 6, 2015, found that despite having wrist-wear in common, these devices share little else in terms of the demographics inclined to buy and wear them:

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Photos courtesy of John.Nash, CoachClub, Gene Han, and 401(K) 2012 via Flickr.

According to these findings, the salaries of those with fitness bands are relatively high, with four in ten earning over $100,000.

ahasidebarFitness bands are more appealing to those nearing middle-age, with women favoring them slightly over men.

Fitness bands, which entered the market in 2013, are worn primarily to track and monitor fitness habits, often by counting steps, calories, and tracking sleep and eating patterns.

Prior statistics have shown that one in three fitness bands are abandoned within six months of ownership. So even if they’re popular among buyers, they’ve yet to become anywhere close to a lasting essential — not unlike most new years resolutions.

ahasidebarSmartwatches have attracted mostly male millennials, nearly half of which are earning less than $45,000 a year.

Only 2 percent of Americans own smartwatches currently, as opposed to fitness bands’ 10 percent.

The smartwatch functions mostly as a companion to the smartphone — the two share capabilities, but the watch itself is fills no niche purpose.

Ironically, smartwatches tend to cost more than fitness bands, with many fitness bands available for under $50, and most smartwatches in the $100-300 range.

The takeaway

Though the insights from this survey are interesting, given the small-ish size of the wearable market right now, they only give us a small glimpse of early adopters at the cusp of the future wearable revolution, whether it arrives in 2015 or 2100.

Which “type” fits you best? The rich, older woman that likes to jog, or the poor millennial tech enthusiast?

If none do, don’t worry. There’s plenty of up-and-coming wearables for the rest of your body, too. When the wave comes, you’re going to want to be prepared.

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Jennifer Markert