UK trailing the rest of the world in wearable tech adoption

The UK is behind the curve when it comes to the adoption of wearable technology at home and at work, according to a new survey.

The report, commissioned by The Workforce Institute at Kronos, examines the differences in perception and use of wearable technologies amongst adults aged 18 and older in Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Mexico, Great Britain and the US.

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The UK's reticence to adopt wearables is in marked contrast to the rest of the world, with 73 per cent of online adults globally recognising at least one potential workplace benefit. In the UK, the figure falls to 66 per cent.

Only 27 per cent of Brits said that they use wearable technology in their personal life, well below the figure in other nations, with China leading the way on 73 per cent.

The report identified several key factors for UK workers when considering whether to adopt wearable tech. Efficiency and enabling a better work/life balance were highlighted as two of the most prominent drivers for UK consumers, but wearables are also more likely to be accepted if the employer provides the device, with that being a key factor for 41 per cent of UK respondents.

The survey also revealed that, despite the media hype, Google Glass is yet to make an impact on consumers, with just a quarter saying that smart eyewear would be useful in the workplace. Instead, smart watches, arm/wrist computing devices and smart headphones were the top-three desired products.

Joyce Maroney, director at The Workforce Institute, explained that the survey highlights the best way to increase the adoption of wearables.

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"While more and more types of wearable technologies have hit the market, the concept of wearables at work isn't new," he said. "The more comfortable we become with wearables, the more apt we are to leverage these technologies in the workplace."