Young people make up majority of smartwatch owners

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Forty-eight percent of people who own a smartwatch are between the age of 18 and 34 years old, according to The Nielson Company — an organization studying consumer habits worldwide.

Smartwatches have become more popular over the last few years and BYU students are utilizing them.

BYU junior Brooklyn Pierce said she wears an Apple smartwatch for convenience.

“My phone can be in my bag or whatever, and I don’t have to worry about it,” Pierce said. “It’s nice for checking notifications, so if you’re in class you can know if someone’s texting you without the pressure of having to respond right then or have your phone out.”

The Nielson Company reported that convenience is the top reason customers purchase smartwatches.

Maddi Dayton
BYU senior Breyton Barber uses his smartwatch to stay connected throughout the day. (Maddi Dayton)

BYU senior Breyton Barber, a computer programmer at Domo, said he loves new tech toys and didn’t hesitate to get a smartwatch. Barber said he originally bought it for fun, but the device actually turned out to be quite useful. Barber uses his smartwatch as a window into his phone.

“A lot of people get offended if you’re looking at your phone, but for me, part of my job is being aware of the things happening at work on my phone and staying in contact with people,” Barber said. “It’s nice to be in class or in a meeting and then all of a sudden you get a quick little update on your wrist of what’s happening, but you don’t disturb anyone.”

Barber also uses his smartwatch for tracking physical activity. Barber said his smartwatch helps motivate him to exercise.

“Every once in a while, you get (reminders) saying, ‘Hey you’re this close to your goal, keep going,'” Barber said.

He said his favorite aspect of his smartwatch is the way he receives notifications.

“It taps you on the wrist,” Barber said. “It feels like a tap, so it’s really subtle, but you notice it.”

Barber said he chose an Apple watch because he already had an iPhone and wanted to be able to sync his watch and phone.

Despite the popularity of smartwatches on campus, students are banned from wearing smartwatches in the BYU Testing Center.

Maddi Dayton
The BYU Testing Center posts signs banning student test takers wearing smartwatches. (Maddi Dayton)

Testing Center academic assessment manager Bryan Bradley said the Testing Center has had issues with smartwatch use.

Bradley said students could store notes on their smartwatches, so they have been banned for the same reasons the testing center banned cellphones a long time ago.

“We also want to maintain what the professors feel is a fair testing experience for their students,” Bradley said. “Testing centers across the country have banned (smartwatches) and other items just because it introduces variables that make it different for students who are taking the same test.”

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