And the main worry in wearables is…

The Apple Watch is almost here!  After an extremely confusing and limited online-only launch, with marketing campaigns promoting an April 24 release date when in fact most early buyers won’t get their shipments until possibly June—after all this, but now word out of Cupertino is that company is preparing watch stock for retailers, to allow consumers to pick up their future orders at the location of their choosing.  No definitive date as to when this will happen, yet, though it also might be June before stores get any stock.

Despite the messy launch, the initial 2.3 million units sold out within hours of pre-order availability last April, selling more in a day than rival Android Wear did in all of 2014.  Lack of advertising might partially explain the discrepancy (I’ve seen more Apple Watch commercials in one day than I saw Android Wear commercials in 2014), but in any case, wearables are a growing trend, and look to become even more pervasive in 2015.  A Business Insider report predicts this increase in use as well, estimating the global wearables market to increase 35% over the next 5 years, and also that the Apple Watch in particular will kick-start growth in the smartwatch market.

Considering this proliferation, it will be necessary, as with every new smart device, to think about security and privacy.  As it turns out, many consumers already are.  A University of California study entitled Risk Perceptions for Wearable Devices conducted a survey to determine the main concerns people have with these new gadgets, as well as what data they want protected, with the intent of using the information to help influence the design of future wearables.  Privacy was the main concern discovered; over 90% of respondents were worried about the safety of their financial information, SSNs, and of course, embarrassing photos and videos.  I guess they’ve been paying attention. 

Personally, I’m not a big wearables person.  But, if survey data such as this does assist wearables manufacturers (assuming they are mindful of what their potential consumers want) in designing their devices, then their priorities are in good shape.  Still, this is still a relatively new sector, and those adopting wearable tech should always proceed with caution.  The person who cares the most about your data, after all, is you.

By: Jonathan Weicher