Industry analyst Mintel has supported the current interest in smartwatches by identifying smart devices as one of four of the strongest UK consumer trends for the year ahead.
Mintel’s senior trend consultant Richard Cope published the Get Smart category among three others as part of the company’s look towards 2015.
In the Mintel report, Cope states: “Smart devices – from watches to ceiling fans – appeal to consumers because they save time and money, promise convenience, control, knowledge and self-analysis. What’s changing is that this is no longer the domain of start-ups offering home hub hardware – the major players are now embracing the trend and raising consumer confidence in it.
“Apple and Google are introducing ecosystems to compete for leadership in the wearables and connected home market and retailers are also pushing synced devices. It’s important to consider that smart devices needn’t be about health or home economics – they can be about aesthetics and ambience as well.”
The research behind the report highlighted that 41% of UK consumers are already making technology purchasing decision based on the ease with which a product can be synced with devices the consumer already owns.
Most pertinently the research also shows that 21% of UK adults already uses either a wearable device or health-related mobile app while 31% are interested in using a smartwatch with fitness functionality.
Cope concluded: “We also expect to see an increase in innovations that help to charge mobile devices on the go, wearables that analyse our mental – as well as physical – health, smart food and drink containers that automatically re-order replacements and companies that analyse our data in order to customise services and costs. Data analysis will become a key area of expansion for companies and humans will increasingly share data with professionals for analysis.”