Smart watch adoption increased from 16% of U.S. Internet households to 29% between 2020 and 2021, according to Parks Associates.

In the broader wearables category, the firm found that health and activity tracking are the top use cases. Parks says that 22% of U.S. Internet households –25 million households –use wearables for safety reasons.

The results were found in Parks Associates’ “Smart Watches and Wearables Market Assessment.” Smart watches are the leading connected health product. Their users are defined by Parks as an enthusiastic core of the market. These people tend to own other smart health products including exercise equipment, weight scales and smart thermometers. They own an average of almost seven other connected health products.

Intention to purchase wearables roughly doubled compared to 2020, Parks Associates Research Director Kristen Hanich said in a press release about the smart watch adoption report. She adds that players in the traditional wearables sector must better market and advertise to new consumers or risk losing them.

“Connected health has become mainstream – with smart watches leading the way,” Hanich said. “The market is undergoing a period of terrific growth and change, with a focus on more powerful and high-performing end devices.”

Wearables also are a formidable product for enterprise use and first responder use.

In early January, Verizon and Google said that they are working together to create flexible, hands-free, immersive and mobile video conferencing environments. The offering combines Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 (EE2) glasses and Pixel 6 5G mobile hotspots with Verizon’s BlueJeans.

In June, 2021, ThirdEye, an augmented and mixed reality enterprise solutions producer, said that its ThirdEye’s X2 MR Glasses and RespondEye software would have access to the AT&T-based first responder’s network. Pilot programs with the Marcus Hook and Upper Merion fire departments in Pennsylvania successfully aided in helping first responders avoid contact with potential COVID-19 patients by detecting elevated temperatures, a sign of possible infection.

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