Shoppers have a good deal of interest in so-called smart jewelry, according to a new survey from the Jewelry Consumer Opinion Council.
“It is very early, but this category has huge potential,” says JCOC founder Martin Hurwitz. “It would be a shame if we just left this to the tech companies when it seems like a natural integration with the jewelry industry. Right now, the manufacturers aren’t even thinking about jewelry stores. What is needed is some big player in jewelry to step up and take the lead on this.”
Some 44 percent said they would be interested in jewelry with smart features, JCOC found. Respondents seemed particularly interested in a ring that could unlock doors and store passwords, Hurwitz says.
“That seems to be the feature they have the most interest in, even more than having it act as a cell phone,” he says.
And 53 percent said they would be interested in an earring that doubled as a Bluetooth listening device for their phone.
“That was a big hit,” Hurwitz says.
There was also interest in smartwatches, something the JCOC has found in the past. Some 30 percent of respondents expressed interest in the category, with the greatest percentage of those (14 percent) saying they’ve looked at the Samsung Galaxy Gear at a store or online. Another 8 percent said they had looked at the Apple iWatch. (No mean feat, since the Apple iWatch has not yet been introduced.)
There was also a fair amount of interest in the smart ring. After watching a video about it, 10 percent said they really wanted it. Another 24 percent declared it interesting, and 22 percent said they might buy it if the price was right.
Awareness of wearable technology—a category that also includes Google Glass and fuel bands—is also high, with some 72 percent telling the JCOC they had heard of the term.