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What's stopping people from buying wearables?

17 Aug 2015  | Rick Merritt

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Fitbit signed up 50 Fortune 500 companies to corporate wellness plans that use the device, and BP America cuts insurance premiums for users who meet set goals with it. Still one in four consumers doesn't want to use trackers for privacy or other reasons, he said.

The CEA's health and fitness group which includes representatives of FitBit, M10 and Qualcomm Life is working on a standard to improve the signal quality for sleep trackers. It may also work on standards for data portability between trackers. "Quality [of data] is one of the biggest complaints for trackers," Markwalter said.

Separately, the still tiny segment of consumer smart eyewear "is tougher to call," Markwalter said, especially in the wake of the failure of augmented reality products such as Google Glass.

The CEA has not yet decided how it will categorise the emerging class of virtual reality goggles such as the Oculus Rift. "They may be positioned beyond gaming because Hollywood is working on a lot of content for VR goggles—it's a big deal," he said.

Overall, "everyone's on board that we will see double-digit growth for wearables in the near term, but the amount varies by category a lot and it's hard to pick winners... [because] we're going to see a lot of different form factors and versions of wearables," he said.

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