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Wearable device shipments set for ten-fold market increase

Smart wearable device shipments including smart watches and glasses will approach 130 million by 2018, 10 times higher than estimated this year.

That’s the view of leading hi-tech analysts, Juniper Research, who claims this change in adoption levels can be attributable to heightened consumer awareness of wearable technology and new product launches.

Juniper’s latest report, ‘Smart Wearable Devices: Fitness, Healthcare, Entertainment & Enterprise: 2013-2018’, also observes that with the emergence of major players and other key stakeholders, there is a much more focussed approach towards ‘wearable computing’.

Market Attractiveness

The recently released findings claim that the market attractiveness of wearable technology has led to the emergence of a host of players and competition is expected to intensify.

However the report notes that, as of now, wearable devices represent a ‘nice to have’ and not a ‘must have’ for consumers.

“Even though wearables are relatively new in terms of market maturity, it is clear that the market, for example the smart watch in particular, will be – as per smartphones – a somewhat crowded affair,” says Nitin Bhas, report author, Juniper Research.

Despite the impending boom in the market, Bhas notes that there are a number of social and legal barriers to the deployment of wearable devices. However, not all of these hurdles will apply to every device, or indeed, every type of device.

Issues such as privacy commonly arise if the wearable device, such as smart glasses, has a camera and gives the appearance of filming at all times. But in the case of Healthcare wearables, Bhas says the most relevant issue is the storage of confidential and personal vital health information by these devices.

As more wearable products are rolled out, Juniper expects that governments will in turn seek to develop regulatory frameworks to legislate their use, both from a privacy and data protection perspective.

Other key findings include:

• Juniper Research has revised upwards the adoption of certain wearable devices to reflect the latest announcements from vendors and the heightened consumer awareness of wearable technology.\

• Mobile fitness wearables will begin to diversify into new mHealth areas.

The complimentary whitepaper, ‘Smart Wearables…Beyond Mobile’, is now available to download from the Juniper website together with further details of the full report.

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