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TNS-Consumer-Interest-Wearable-Tech-Sept20133 in 4 American adults are aware of at least one wearable computing device, per recent survey results from TNS. But awareness and interest are far apart for the time being: just 9% are currently interested in using the devices, according to the study. Concerns regarding cost and privacy appear to be hindering further interest: 55% believe that the technology will be too expensive for them, while 31% cite privacy as a barrier to adoption. Roughly 1 in 5 also feel they already have too many devices.

If the wearables market takes off, it looks like smartwatches have the brightest future, at least according to this survey. Asked their preferences for where they’d like to wear the devices, 52% of the respondents said they would prefer to have a wrist-based device, compared to 24% preferring a device on their arm, and only 5% on their eyes.

A recent white paper from Juniper Research certainly forecasts strong growth for application-enabled smart watch shipments. The researchers predict that shipments will reach 36 million per year globally by 2018, from slightly more than 1 million this year.

An earlier survey from Modis found more enthusiasm for smart watches, with 61% of self-described “geeks” saying they’d buy and wear one, and 37% of self-described “non-geeks” agreeing.

About the Data: TNS conducts ongoing research of the wearables market through its representative US Omnibus weekly survey of 1,000 US adults.

The Modis survey was conducted by telephone by Opinion Research Corporation, on behalf of Modis, among 1,011 Americans age 18 and older. The survey was fielded April 11-14, 2013.

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