In 2013, tourism marketers discussed heavily about the latest launch of a wearable technology, Google Glasses that is expected to revolutionise the way in which consumers behave and also goes beyond what was previously considered possible with a device. However, straight after the launch, concerns about privacy were growing. A latest article by eMarketer looked into the issue of wearable technology sales growing but at the same time privacy concerns increasing too. What impact do these concerns have on consumers intention of buying wearable technology devices (eMarketer 2013).
WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY SALES
Wearable technology sales are generally predicted to increase to a total of 64 million devices until 2017. This is very interesting, as wearable technologies are nothing completely new but are far from a mainstream device for consumers. Current wearable technology devices are smart watches, smart glasses, smart wearable fitness trackers. Although these are fairly new, consumers do like the idea of having a smart device that can make their daily life's easier than ever before. In 2012, sales already jumped from 3.1million in 2011 to 8.3 million the year after. This is a growth of 168% within one year which is an incredible amount. Ensuring that consumers get support through the smart device in their daily activities is at the core of any smart wearable technology device.
Although smart devices such as smart watches or smart glasses are embraced by a large number of consumers, there are still growing concerns among consumers with regards to privacy issues and concerns about these technologies. The major concern is that a consumer’s private life could be invaded through wearing a smart device. Especially Australian consumers were most concerned, followed by French consumers, UK consumers and consumers from the US. All these country citizens expressed concerns with regards to smart devices invading people’s privacy.
There have been privacy concerns before with regards to social media and other digital tools and applications. However, many tourism marketers are embracing the growth in wearable technologies. It is hoped that consumers wearing smart devices will share more of their tourism experiences, destinations will become more transparent as videos can be shared instantaneous and being able to see a destination through the eyes of a friend in the case of smart glasses will change the way in which destinations and tourism products and services will be perceived.
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