American director, Godfrey Reggio, rightly said, “It’s not that we use technology, we live technology.” because, today this statement stands true for everyone and aptly represents the adoption of smart technology in our day to day lives. Working from or staying at home brought a paradigm shift in the wearables industry. From smartwatches to earbuds and TWS, individuals especially the young realised the need to stay connected yet disconnected.
This led to people embracing these smart companions. The trend shows that the new found love and appreciation for these gadgets will continue to increase manifold, not just because of their utilisation but also as a fashion statement among the Gen-Z and millennials.
The last few years accelerated the digital transformation that led to increased digital adoption and created opportunities for businesses and brands to meet that demand. As work from home becomes a part of the new normal, it has also augmented the growth of the smart home, smart entertainment, and the smart wearables segments. People understood the need to digitise their surroundings to manage workloads. They needed to stay updated and connected to not miss work calls or emails and this drove the demand for consumer wearables such as smartwatches and earbuds.
Wearable devices are not new. In fact, they date back to the 1960s, when Bell Helicopter experimented with head-mounted displays coupled with an infrared camera – providing military helicopter pilots with the ability to land at night in rough terrain. Today, wearables have officially arrived. With the Work from Home trend induced by the pandemic, there arose the need for adoption of the connected devices category, as people are looking for new-age tech solutions to help them in their daily tasks.
The level of adoption of smart wearables has been astonishing and as per the IDC report, the Indian wearables market saw 20.1 percent year-on-year growth in January to March 2022. This is proof that consumers seek unique product experiences. These minimalist yet powerful gadgets have become a popular choice for purchase. The innovation in products to enhance customer experience comes to the forefront when we see brands offering premium features on a budget. I am in awe of how evolutionary the smart wearables industry is.
While the young workforce adapted quickly to the home setup and optimized their working with suitable gadgets, families small or big took time to balance work and life but latched onto the trend sooner than quicker. Working parents demanded smartwatches for kids to monitor their sleep, screen time and activity. While they invested in earbuds to cancel the background noise and attend calls without interference.
From working from home to working out at home, wearables such as TWS and smartwatches have become an integral part of people’s lives. With people becoming more conscious about their fitness, wireless devices became integral to monitor their heartbeat, oxygen levels and steps. Others needed earbuds to attend virtual meetings, classes and for entertainment, be it playing virtual games or binge-watching. This only suggests that being uber-mobile is the way forward for the people.
Interestingly, the pandemic nudged the traditional watch users to switch to smartwatches since it offers a more holistic experience at the same price point of a normal wristwatch. The transition is very prominent and a testament to the fact that people are choosing ease, comfort, and seamlessness.
Working professionals like me swear by smartwatches and earbuds because it helps multitask, not miss any emails, keep track of my body movements, and set reminders when necessary. What is fascinating to note is that every decade we see reduced size of gadgets that we are getting hooked to. From desktops to tablets to smartphones to smart watches, the screen sizes have reduced but individual dependency has increased.
However, utility is one part of the wearable’s spectrum; the other part is aesthetics. As the demand for smart wearables increased, the style gurus of every individual took the forefront too. This is a growing trend.
Smartwatches and earbuds will not only be used for their primary usage, but also as a fashion statement, same as we do for our regular wear, party wear and different outfits and fashion accessories for different occasions. Soon a day will arrive when people have more than one TWS earbuds and an equal number of smartwatches to mix and match their look for the day and stand out in the crowd.
Wearables have the potential to change our lives and society. Regardless of the form we choose, the benefits of wearables are becoming more commonplace every day. They have come a long way from the simple step counters and fitness trackers of the past and have become a major part of our daily wardrobe. They provide ubiquitous, personalized services to the end users and are equipped with a range of sensors. Wearable devices will continue to be refined and optimized.
WFH or not, the wearables will continue to thrive and by manifolds in the coming time. Consumers today see it as an extension of their work life requirement, entertainment solution, lifestyle and fitness regime.
– Abhilash Panda, CEO DIZO India.