Wearable Computer Study

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Users Plan To Spend More On Wearable Computers

Users and evaluators of mobile computing and communications solutions know a lot about wearable computing solutions. They like what they know and are planning to spend more on these systems during the next three years. However, larger future commitments to wearable computing will require modification to current solutions and supplier strategy.

The VDC tudy, titled: The Global Market for Wearable Computers: The Quest for Killer Applications

, produced a survey with more than 500 respondents.

Characteristics of wearable computers likely to influence future usage and purchase:

o Wearability and Comfort: 78 percent;

o Application requires "hands free" computing capability: 70 percent;

o Form factor liked by employees and can be successfully integrated into work functions: 61 percent;

o Desire to possess "leading edge" technology: 37 percent;

o Head-mounted display required to read/access manuals, etc.: 32 percent;

o Fashion and aesthetics: 28 percent;

o Cheapest alternative among all available form factors: 21 percent;

o Only technology/product offered at time of evaluation: 15 percent;

o Functional and reliable technology, it works: 8 percent;

o Increases real-time communications capabilities: 6 percent;

o Offers bio-monitoring capabilities: 4 percent

o Other: 6 percent;

Note: Percentages sum to over 100 percent due to multiple responses.

According to Tim Shea, the project manager of the study, "Evaluators and users were able to clearly articulate performance and price requirements for wearable computing solutions. In addition, many had developed specific benefits expectations for their most important applications. This helped the study team establish a solid set of product and vendor selection criteria in many vertical markets and application clusters."

o Nearly 60 percent of survey respondents had a firm understanding of wearable computing. This included knowledge of: form factors, basic performance and price levels, and some of the largest suppliers. Approximately one in four respondents stated that their level of understanding of wearable computing was 'strong' or 'very strong'.

o The most often cited expected benefits -- or performance goals -- for installations of wearable computers, ranked in descending order of frequency, included:

1. Improve employee/operator productivity;

2. Manage personal schedules;

3. Increase profitability in core operations/business;

4. Enhance customer satisfaction;

5. Create more free time and enhance value of experience during that time;

6. Enable easier, more reliable real-time access to people and information;

These benefits are reflected in the wearable computing product selection criteria most often cited as key influencers in the decision making process:

o Almost every current and potential user of wearable computers, especially those looking to support real-time, wireless datacom and telecom, are 'very concerned' about privacy and security.

o Nearly half of all survey respondents are 'concerned' with safety issues, such as EMI, RFI and a host of ergonomic issues.

To view the entire press release including charts go to www.vdc-corp.com/industrial/press/03/pr03-19.html

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