Surprise: People Don't Want to Wear Computers on Their Face

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Nov. 25 2013 1:30 PM

Survey: People Don't Really Want to Wear Computers on Their Face

The Miz wearing Google Glass
Professional wrestler The Miz is among a minority of Americans who are interested in conspicuously displaying their wearable technology.

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for WWE

Americans want their tech subtle like a Volvo, not conspicuous like a Lamborghini.

A new survey finds that a majority believe “wearable technology” like smart watches and smart clothing will someday be as ubiquitous as smartphones are today. But most would prefer not to wear it on their sleeves—or, worse, their faces.

The survey, by the cloud-services company Citrix, asked 1,000 U.S. adults for their thoughts on wearable technologies. While 60 percent see wearables as an unstoppable trend, 61 percent said they have no plans to purchase a wearable device themselves. And if they do, they don’t want to advertise it to the world. Seventy-three percent said they’d prefer their wearable tech to blend into their everyday clothing rather than serving as a visible advertisement of their tech savvy.  (That number is lower among Millennials, but still a majority.)

Citrix wearables survey results

Source: Citrix Wearables Survey, Nov. 2013

Advertisement

The generation gap also shows up in people’s responses to a question about what fictional wearable technology they’d prefer. Millennials went for Tony Stark’s full-body armor suit from Iron Man, while their parents would be more comfortable with an unobtrusive Starfleet wrist communicator. As for real-world tech, the survey would seem to be good news for smart-watch purveyors—and smart socks purveyors, for that matter—and a blow to Google Glass.

Citrix Wearables survey

Source: Citrix Wearables Survey, Nov. 2013

On the other hand, the 27 percent of adults who do want to wear their devices like a billboard can take heart: They should have no problem standing out from the rest of us.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Will Oremus is Slate's senior technology writer.

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 11:33 AM Planned Parenthood Is About to Make It a Lot Easier to Get Birth Control
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 5:03 PM White House Chief Information Officer Will Run U.S. Ebola Response
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 21 2014 8:00 AM An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.