Posted by Matt Egan 08 December 2014
You know what you want - and it's not wearables
Wearables have a big part to play in the future of consumer tech. But not right now. (See also: Smartwatches, the smartphone anti-churn device.)
Ask the tech press what is the most important category in consumer tech and a good proportion of the responses will relate to wearables. Along with 'smart-home tech' and 'the internet of things', 'wearables' is the buzzword de jour. And with good reason. New categories of computational devices don't come along over often. And between Google Glass, the Microsoft Band and the nascent Apple Watch all the big players have a stake in the game.
Personally I think that wearables have an important part to play in our connected future. But not yet. Smartwatches and activity trackers are on the periphary right now. Nice gifts to have, useful gadgets, but really on the average consumer's mind. Google Glass remains the stuff of celebrity and science fiction. A cool and exciting idea, but not something people actively desire. Not now, anyway.
And you agree.
We ran a poll recently on PC Advisor, asking just what you would most like to receive in Santa's stocking. The interesting news for all of those in the business of exchanging tech for money is that only 10 percent of the 5,127 respondents wanted either a smartwatch or an activity tracker.
Meanwhile nearly two thirds of respondents want a smartphone, a laptop or a tablet. And of those more (21 percent) want a laptop and want a tablet (18 percent). There's life yet in the more traditional tech.
And despite the hard-push marketing of smartwatches, bands and fobs it would seem that wearables remain niche. (See also: Activity trackers outrun smartwatches - shipments four times higher.)
The most popular answer was 'smartphone'. Almost a quarter (22 percent) of poll respondents said they wanted a new phone for Christmas. Laptop and tablet were the next two categories, before a large drop to 'games console'. Just 10 percent of respondents want an Xbox or a PlayStation for Chrimbo.
Only 6 percent of respondents most wanted a smartwatch, and just 4 percent were interested in a fitness band or activity tracker. Other types of product that received more than no support were headphones (3 percent), e-reader (1 percent) and Bluetooth speaker (2 percent). And spare a thought for the 2 percent of readers who want a printer for Christmas.
You can see the full poll here. (See also: Why smartwatches could be great: they're not pocket watches.)