If CES told us anything, it is that the next trend of consumer electronics will be focused on wearable technology. Fitness bands, smart watches and smart bands plagued the floors of the convention, with everyone from Metawatch to Razer showing off wearables.
(Image Source: Google)
ABI Research, a firm with 20 years experience in the technology market, claims this year will be big for wearables. The firm projects over 90 million wearable devices will be shipped in 2014, but the consumer market will not be the biggest buyer, with enterprise claiming wearables first. The benefits for wearables are huge, we have already seen cases of surgeons, firefighters and police using Google Glass to take in data on the go, stream their view to other people and save data for analysis later.
Cloud computing will play a big part in making wearables usable in public services and enterprise. Internal storage is clearly not the solution with small devices like Google Glass and Pebble, meaning cloud storage and on-the-go streaming solutions will become embraced.
Health trackers will also gain larger market share, according to ABI. The health tracking market has been growing for a few years now, with Nike and Fitbit working on different bands and health apps, allowing users to keep track of what they eat and how much exercise they do daily.
The impact of Google Glass and Apple’s iWatch is still unknown, we cannot see both products flopping on the market. The developer interest surrounding Google Glass right now is enough to secure them a few hundred thousand sales, even more if they reveal some killer apps.
According to ABI Research, the main problems wearable manufacturers have to overcome is price and battery life. Google will obviously have to drop the price of Glass to a more reasonable amount since $1,500 is way out of reach for most consumers.
We believe the iWatch will come at the same price as the iPod Touch. The Pebble smartwatch already offers a good amount of functionality, but there have been reports of Apple creating a whole new iOS interface, just for the iWatch.
By Walter Bailey