Wearable Tech World Feature Article
September 19, 2013

Wearable Technology Use Led by Fitness, Held Back by Privacy Concerns

Since the wearable technology space is still in a relatively nascent stage, there is understandably some doubt as to whether or not current interest in the space is anything more than a fad. History has proven time and again that such predictions are difficult to make with any accuracy but, at the very least, it’s possible to make an educated guess based on public opinion.

Fortunately, cloud company Rackspace has gone ahead and gauged public opinion of wearable technology in Australia, at the very least providing insight into how people use wearable devices right now. The study — entitled “The Human Cloud: Wearable Technology from Novelty to Productivity” — was commissioned by Rackspace and conducted by Pure Profile, which surveyed 750 Australians between the ages of 18 and 64.

So far, 35 percent of Australians have used some form of wearable technology, with the majority of these (67 percent) stating they’ve used the technology to improve their health and fitness. This more or less fits with recent data from ON World stating that record breaking numbers of people turned to wearable fitness devices so far this year. Maybe this correlates with the 37 percent of Australian wearable tech users who say it has boosted their self confidence.

Meanwhile, one quarter of Australians that have used wearable technology claim it helped their career development, while another 32 percent say using wearable technology makes them feel more intelligent. Nearly half say it helps keep them more informed.

Of course, there are negative perceptions of wearable technology, particularly in terms of privacy. In particular, one in five survey respondents said they think Google Glass should be banned for its potential to infringe on privacy. Still, Angus Dorney, director and general manager of Rackspace Australia, seems to suggest that privacy infringement and wearable technology go hand-in-hand, but that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing in some circumstances.

“The rich data created by wearable tech will drive the rise of the ‘human cloud’ of personal data,” said Dorney. “With this comes countless opportunities to tap into this data; whether it’s connecting with third parties to provide more tailored and personalised services or working closer with healthcare institutions to get a better understanding of their patients.”

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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