FORBES: Communities for Wearables Users are Essential
Wearables Are Missing A Crucial Aspect: Community
Nov 17, 2015 Jennifer Elias Contributor
The very populations being left out of wearable tech production phases are the same ones that will be driving the next generation of consumer electronics. These groups, experts say, are crucial to the development of effective wearables especially since the next consumer-base is a highly diverse America.
According to the 2020 Census, the majority of the U.S. will be people of color, a rise from the 38% in 2014. By 2060, the nation’s foreign-born population will reach nearly 19% of the total population, up from 13% in 2014. The African-American population more than doubled between the years of 2000 and 2010, and the “two or more races” population is projected to be the fastest growing over the next 46 years.
The way wearables are designed today, creators don’t have these communities in mind. In fact, they don’t have much other than themselves in mind according to Wired. “From Silicon Valley and San Francisco to Austin and MIT, young, healthy, highly educated, mostly male entrepreneurs are developing marginally useful apps and gadgets for people just like themselves,” J.C. Herz said in an article titled “Wearables Are Totally Failing the People Who Need Them Most.”
This is the story for many corporations looking to get healthcare costs down, including Target, however some question its effectiveness. A recent study showed competition was a complete turn-off for women when it came wearables. “It may have some short-term engagement but that isn’t what they wanted,” says Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness strategist Sharon Suchotfiff.
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The study also showed that the entire female population isn’t happy with the wearables on the market today because they aren’t taking into account their ideals of health and wellness.
Another segment being left out happens to also be the most tech-savvy of generations. Dr. Lloyd Werk, Chief of General Pediatrics and Co-Director of the Healthy Choices Clinic at Nemours Children’s Hospital, says most wearable devices focus on adults, virtually leaving out the adolescent populations.
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