The Consumer Electronic Association — the folks who put on the massive International CES show — put out a survey last week showing that three times as many Americans wear wearable fitness devices than they did a year ago, and that 10 percent of adults plan to buy one.
Overall, Americans spent $854 million on fitness and activity trackers in 2013, 32 percent more than in 2012, the CEA said. Sales estimates for 2014 are expected to top $1 billion, up 37 percent over this year.
The association said 9 percent of Americans now own a dedicated fitness device, up from 3 percent a year ago. In total, 75 percent of Americans have some kind of fitness gadget; most of them are pedometers, followed by fitness video games (think: Wii Fit) and portable blood pressure monitors.
Among the people who intend to get something soon, their intent was evenly divided among a dedicated device, a fitness app, fitness video games, or calorie trackers, all at 13 percent.
Nearly half (47 percent) of the people who own dedicated devices use them every day. They say they use them for motivation (52 percent), monitoring fitness goal progress (47 percent), and intensity of workout (46 percent).
Smart watches appear to be a market of its own. The survey says people see them as a higher-end product than other devices and were therefore less interesting. But people who were thinking about buying one were far more focused on monitoring health and fitness.
The CEA surveyed 1008 Americans adults online, and conducted one-on-one interviews with 41 people.