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Google Glass Awareness in the US

From a recent VisonWatch custom study conducted by The Vision Council, it was found that a large number of adults (42.5% equivalent to 103.9 million people) are not aware of, or familiar with, smart glass technology. Conversely, a larger number (137.4 million or 56.2% of the US adult population) are aware of smart glass technology to some extent—with 12.7% claiming they are “very familiar” with the technology and 43.5% claiming they are “vaguely aware” of smart glass technology. Some demographics (such as men, adults under the age of 45, people from high-income households, people residing in the Mountain-Pacific region of the country and people with relatively higher education levels) were more aware of smart glass technology when compared to the rest of the population. Moreover, the same consumer groups who were more likely to be aware of smart glass technology were also the same groups who were more likely to currently own a pair of smart glasses. Overall, a very small number of consumers (about 1%) reported owning some type of smart glass technology.

Among those 130.9 million American adults that claimed to be familiar with smart glass technology, only 7.8% are either “extremely likely” or “very likely” to purchase a pair of smart glass technology within the next 12 months. About one out of every six adults familiar with smart glass technology (17.6%) might or might not purchase a pair of smart glasses within the next 12 months. Finally, the vast majority of consumers familiar with smart glass technology are either “not very likely” (30.3%) or “not at all likely” (44.3%) to buy smart glass technology. Even though there were only a small number of consumers (2.2%) who claimed to be extremely likely to buy a pair of smart glasses within the next year, that still represents over 3 million potential buyers. When compared to other consumer groups, men, adults between the ages of 18 and 44, adults from the Northeast region of the country and adults possessing some type of MVC coverage were most likely to report being “extremely likely” to buy a pair of smart glasses within the next year. On the other side of the purchase intent coin, women, adults over the age of 55, adults from the Midwest region of the country and adults who only wear contact lenses as a means of vision correction were all less likely to express an interest in buying smart glasses within the next 12 months.

There were several main reasons why people may be interested in buying a pair of smart glasses within the next year. About 37% of those interested in buying smart glasses within the next year want a pair because they believe smart glasses will make their life easier by giving them access to information that they would not otherwise have. Easy access to information was a particularly strong factor among several groups of consumers who are likely to buy smart glasses within the next year—principally: men, adults between the age of 35 to 64, adults from higher-income households and adults who do not currently wear any type of vision correction. A slightly smaller number of likely smart glass buyers (34%) want a pair for recreational / leisure purposes. Having a pair of smart glasses for recreational purposes was a strong motivating factor for women, adults over the age of 65, adults from the Southeast region of the country and adults that possess some form of MVC coverage. More than one quarter of likely future smart glass buyers (typically men, consumers between the ages of 18-34, consumers with a post-graduate level education, and consumers who currently wear contact lenses), were interested in buying a pair of smart glasses because they classify themselves as “early adopters” and want exposure to the technology before it becomes more popular and prolific. Finally, about 22%-23% of likely future smart glass buyers expressed an interest in buying the technology because it will either make it easier for them to communicate with friends and family (22.7%) or because they want a pair for work / business purposes (22.2%).

Even though there are almost 11 million consumers interested in buying smart glass technology over the course of the next year, among the vast majority of American adults not interested in buying smart glasses within the next year, there were several driving factors dissuading people from buying smart glass technology. The dominant inhibiting factor (reported by 58% of those NOT interested in buying smart glass technology) was that the price is too high for current smart glass products. Price was a particularly powerful inhibiting factor for younger adults, people from relatively lower-income households, and people from the Midwest region of the country. After price, worries over the ability of smart glass technology to improve quality of life was another inhibiting factor preventing people from expressing an interest in buying smart glass technology. Specifically, 50.8% of the people unlikely to buy smart glass technology (especially women, adults over the age of 55, people from the Mountain-Pacific region of the country and people with a post-graduate education level) were avoiding it because they believe the product wouldn’t improve the quality of their lives. Smaller numbers of consumers were unlikely to buy smart glasses because of either privacy concerns (16.7%), fears that the technology is not advanced enough yet (17.7%), concerns that smart glasses are not fashionable (14.6%) and/or legality issues (11.1%). Only 1% of unlikely smart glass buyers were avoiding the technology because of warnings or concerns from their ECP or eye doctor.

Data in this article was compiled from a custom VisionWatch study, the large scale continuous research study conducted by The Vision Council. VisionWatch contains useful industry data on lenses, frames, sunglasses, reading glasses, LASIK, contact lenses and eye exams. For additional information, please contact Steve Kodey at 703-740-1095.

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