Archive | October 2015

The danger of online polls: 1 in 5 Americans don’t use a wearable


Don’t believe everything you read! No offense to my friends at Forrester, but there is no way that 21% of adult Americans use a wearable. I have seen other research with robust methodology, and no more than 14-15% of Americans 18+ even have ACCESS to a wearable, let alone use one. (The Canadian number is about 9%.)

How can the study be so wrong? It is an online opinion poll, and there can be problems with those. First, the online population is not always representative of the population as a whole, and the online population who are willing to take these kinds of surveys may be even more unrepresentative. Online polls can be useful, but sometimes can give results that just don’t match reality. Having more than 1 in 5 Americans using wearables is pretty suspect — but it gets better.

In the picture above, you can see that of the 21% of Americans who report using wearables of all kinds, Google Glass was used by 15%. That suggests that 3.15% of all adult Americans use Google Glass, there are 245.3 million Americans over the age of 18, which means the online survey says that 7.7 million people are using Glass.

That seems improbable, since the best estimates of GLOBAL Glass sales were around 40,000 units. Either the Forrester data is a couple of orders of magnitude too high…or each person who says that they are using Google Glass is sharing the device with 191 of their closest friends.