Where is the market heading for smartwatches?

Growth in sales has been slowing. Only 4.7 percent of Americans currently own a smartwatch. And since the smartwatches first were released, consumers have had their grumbles.

When smartwatches first launched three years ago, tech giants hoped every wrist would be wearing one.

The watches were hyped up as being the next trendy gadget, using voice commands, tracking steps and calories, and checking calls.

According to market research firm Kantar Worldpanel, Apple is the current industry leader, but growth in sales have been slowing. Kantar says only 4.7 percent of Americans currently own a smartwatch, and only 9.3 percent of U.S. based non-owners plan to purchase a wearable in the next year.

And since the smartwatches first were released, consumers have had their grumbles. Some consumers have had their complaints about bulky design. Others really hate the short battery life.

"You can't really seem to get it over 12 percent," Rocklin tech vlogger Jeff Rizzo joked about the Apple watch battery.

Rizzo, CEO and founder of Rizknows.com, says people also have complaints about them not being fully waterproof or scratchproof. The biggest gripe people have is the accuracy of the smartwatches.

"The consumer needs to know, these things estimate your distance. They estimate your steps and your sleep, so they're never going to be perfect," Rizzo says.

Despite negative reviews, Rizzo says there is still hope for the market. He believes most of the slowdown is due to pent up demand, consumers holding off for new models rather than continuing to purchase models currently on the market.

"I want something that monitors my heart rate and I'm also interested in tracking my sleep habits," Allison Parke says, who's on the search for a smartwatch.

But local mom and gym fanatic Karen Stafford says she barely uses her smartwatch, even though it may be beneficial to other people.

"It kind of sits on my dresser most days," Stafford said. "It's something else to worry about losing or breaking."

Rizzo says using smartwatches for your health is where the market is heading, with Garmin, Fitbit, and Apple leading the market.

"I think the healthcare perspective is the most important thing going forward," Rizzo says. "It's figuring irregularities in my heart beat, tracking my calories. Having your doctor look at it. Being able to guess whether or not there's going to be an issue in the future."

Copyright 2016 KXTV


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