What do Americans think about smart glasses? Our study provides answers!

Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Samsung, Amazon, and IBM are just few examples of leading technology firms that have just recently announced, launched or patented devices termed as Augmented Reality Smart Glasses (syn: smart glasses, data glasses). “Augmented Reality Smart Glasses are defined as wearable Augmented Reality (AR) devices that are worn like regular glasses and merge virtual information with physical information in a user’s view field.” (Rauschnabel, Brem, & Ro, 2015, p.6). Unlike Augmented Reality Smart Glasses, Virtual Reality Glasses are completely closed off from the real, physical world. Although there are many forecasts that smart glasses will revolutionize our media behavior, very little is known about smart glasses so far.

future of wearables: Smart glassesAugmented vs Virtual AR vs VR Glasses. Microsoft smart glasses

Smart Glasses Study: A Collaborative Market Research Project

Morpace Inc is a leading market research company specialized in technology. In a recent joint research project, we (Bryan Krulikowski, Vice President at MorpacePhilipp Rauschnabel, and Young Ro) wanted to find out:

  • What do Americans think and feel about smart glasses?
  • How much do they know about smart glasses so far?
  • What drives the adoption intention?
  • Who are the innovators and early adopters of smart glasses?

To answer these questions, we surveyed 1,000 US consumers using the Morpace Omnibus in our smart glasses study. We developed a questionnaire based on our own prior research on smart glasses, included adopted items from the Technology Acceptance Literature and pre-tested the questionnaire intensely. Furthermore, we asked open-ended questions about the advantages and disadvantages of smart glasses from the view of consumers.


Press Release

Download our press release with some statements and results:

download file

DOWNLOAD: Press Release (download pdf)

Smart Glasses Study: Statistics and Consumer Insights

The results of the smart glasses study are really interesting. In this early stage of the product life-cycle, only eight percent of the respondents are really aware of the technology. We added a short explanation of the basic idea of smart glasses in the survey to make sure that everyone could answer these questions appropriately. The diagram figure below shows the top2-boxes results of the survey. That is, it shows the amount of respondents (in %) who answered these questions with 6 or 7 on a scale from 1 (totally disagree) to 7 (totally agree).

Smart Glasses US consumer survey results 2015


I personally find these results most interesting:

  • About one third of the respondents think that wearing smart glasses makes them look strange.
  • Privacy Paradox: People think that privacy is an issue. However, additional driver-analyses (not reported here) show that this fear does not drive consumers’ adoption intention.
  • Consumers think that handling smart glasses is challenging (i.e., not very easy).
  • Many consumers still do not see a value of how smart glasses can make their life more efficient.
  • However, about one fourth of the consumers see the ‘fun-benefits’ of smart glasses (entertainment, new sensual experiences etc).
  • More respondents (17%) see themselves using smart glasses in the privacy of their home compared to those who intend do so in public (11%).

More research is needed to better understand the market potentials, to identify segments of interested customers, and finally, on the applications in professional settings.

…The challenge for technology firms is to develop smart glasses that are technically perfect and appealing to the customers who should not only use, but also wear them.

Advantages and Disadvantages Associated with Smart Glasses

We also asked consumers to mention the advantages and disadvantages they associate with Augmented Reality Smart Glasses. Tag clouds are a very simple approach to get an understanding of what consumers’ thoughts and feelings are associated with smart glasses. Tag clouds visualize the presence of words in a text. The larger a word is in the tag cloud, the more frequently it is included in the open-ended answers. We used wordle.net to create the tag cloud.

Advantages/Benefits of Smart Glasses

smart glasses advantages survey results

Disadvantages/Risiks of Smart Glasses

Contra Smart Glasses: Disadvantages and Risks

Further Links







▶ DOWNLOAD: Press Release (download pdf)

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