ChannelLife New Zealand logo
Story image

Wearable tech to hit US$1.5 billion by 2014

29 Apr 2013

Next generation wearables including smart glasses and watches are set to flourish as influential players such as Google and Apple enter the market.

That is according to a report by Juniper Research, who values the wearable devices market to be worth more than $1.5 billion by 2014, up from just $800 million this year.

These revenues will be largely driven by consumer spending on fitness, multi-functional devices, and healthcare.

Following predictions that Google Glass shipments could amount to almost 10 million units by 2016, consumers are expected to embrace the technology with open arms according to report author Nitin Bhas.

“With consumers embracing new technologies and form factors, wearable devices ranging from fitness accessories to heads-up displays will be more prevalent in the consumer market," Bhas said.

"While fitness and entertainment will have the greatest demand from consumers, within an enterprise environment, the demand for wearable devices will be greatest from the aviation and warehouse sectors."

Wearables fighting fit

The use of wearable devices connected to the smartphone in the fitness and sports environment has grown rapidly in the last two years with applications such as Nike+ and Fitbit Tracker allowing data from training sessions to be uploaded and analysed.

Classified as a ‘future form factor’ for computing devices, next generation wearables, including smart glasses and other head-mounted displays, will provide a multitude of functions either independently or in conjunction with a third party platform according to Juniper.

The new report, Smart Wearable Devices, identifies 2014 to be the watershed year for wearable devices – in terms of roll outs and market traction.

Large influential players such as Google and Apple have already made key strategic moves in this sector according to Juniper.

The Next ‘Smart’ Thing?

With Google and Apple making headways in the market, closely followed by Samsung and Microsoft, intimate devices look set to be future for consumers.

“It’s a phenomenal breakthrough,” Apple board member Bill Campbell said of Google Glass last month.

And with rival endorsements of this magnitude, it would appear the industry has woken up and smelt the coffee, subsequently firing wearable devices into mainstream orbit.

Are intimate devices the future? Is this what consumers want? Check out the May issue of NetGuide for more.