Chart: Wearables By Generation, 2020-2024

Can we stop putting the word “smart” in front of everything already?

I think it’s well past time that we all assume that most consumer electronics will have internet connectivity at this point.

Also, can we stop naming by using a letter that comes after X? Remember when Millennials were called Generation Y, just because they came after X?

Now we’re calling the generation following Millennials, Z. As I disussed last year, calling them Generation Z is just lazy journalism that has nothing to do with their identity as a generation. That’s why I stubbornly refer to them as Generation V; the V stands for “virtual,” which defines much of their experience interacting with the world during their formative years.

End rants.

It should come as little surprise that the two generations with the most pocket change, Millennials and Generation X, are the early adopters of and have the greatest penetration with wearables.

Connected watch users grew from 13.1 million in 2016 to 27.4 million this year, largely from the wallets of the two aforementioned generations.

In 2018, 48.5 million Millennials and Gen Xers owned wearable technology.

Two years ago, adoption of wearables among Gen V was low. Just one in 10 internet users ages 12 to 17—or 2.5 million teens—used a wearable device in 2018, according to eMarketer estimates.

The youngest generations have historically been the leading-edge early adopters of new technology. The fact that Gen V has not been an early adopter at this point, likely speaks more to the price point of the devices than any reluctance to use wearables.

Thus, these eMarketer projections have the youngest generation matching Gen X wearable usage by 2022 and creeping up on Millennial use numbers by 2024.

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