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Wearables Will Top The Most Wish Lists This Christmas

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Currys PC World survey finds smartwatches and fitness trackers more popular than ever before

This Christmas is set to be a major milestone for the UK’s embracing of wearable technology, according to a survey, which discovered more of us than ever before have asked Santa for some this year.

A study by Currys PC World found that more than a third of Britons will be hoping to unwrap a wearable technology device on Christmas Day.

Wearable tech sales have increased 710 percent from last year, the survey found, thanks to a range of high profile releases, including smartwatches from the likes of Google, LG, and Motorola, along with the continued growth of fitness trackers from manufacturers such as Jawbone and Fitbit.

Apple Watch (2)Growing trend

2014 will be the biggest take-up of wearable tech items so far, kicking off a growing trend that is set to see 17 million 18- to 65-year-olds owning some form of wearable tech by 2017.

The survey discovered that just nine percent of UK adults currently own a piece of wearable technology, like a fitness tracker or smartwatch, but by 2017 43 percent will at least consider owning one.

This boom will be driven by young early adopters, with 49 percent of 18- to 30-year-olds believing everyone will use wearable tech in the future; however, 30 percent of adults of all ages says the technology will “turn people into cyborgs.”

“Wearable technology will revolutionise our lives as it embeds itself into more everyday items and becomes accessible to a wider range of people,” said Dave Ward, head of innovations and technology at Currys PC World.

Despite smartwatches offering a new way to read notifications like text messages, tweets and emails, ‘improving health and fitness’ is the most popular benefit cited by those buying wearable gadgets. Recent research by analyst firm Juniper Research estimates that there are currently around 19 million devices worldwide, a figure which is set to soar to around 70 million by 2018, according to the firm

Ward added that social engagement with wearables will help increase sales in the nascent sector. “People have a pretty competitive mentality. Wearables that let you share data with others and link in with apps are seeing faster growth. The social element is probably one of the biggest drivers in this space.”

The survey appears to oppose findings discovered by Accenture earlier this year, which found that two thirds of Britons were still wary of wearable technology. The research found that only 29 percent of UK adults would be interested in buying a smart watch,  and 26 percent would be interested in buying Internet-connected eyeglasses such as Google Glass.

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