The wearable computing revolution was expected to draw in big players into the fray. Last week, tech players like Apple, Google, Samsung and Qualcomm that predicted to spotlight their aces at the last minute are massively missing the wearable devices’ movement!
Wearable computing adoption
Wearable computing will unfold a world of new gadgets, some of which are now in the development stages. Early adopters are people in the fitness and health niche, a market segment where many are willing to spend extensively for brand new gadgets.
Health wristwatch, bracelets and fitness bands monitor pulse rate, temperature and level of activity, time lapse, distance, and data all stored for measurement of changes. For some users, wearable self-monitoring gadgets are less complicated, and the data can be easily shared for medical diagnostic and fitness tracking.
Wearable computing new front-runners
Wearable computing technology will ultimately evolve into broader applications like personal information management with compatible artificial intelligence components and will appeal to a greater number of people, including the business sector. These new front-runners will overshadow early adopters in health and fitness niche.
The technology crystal ball shows us a future consisting of wearable devices integrated into clothing. The Sony Smart Bluetooth Handset SBH52 clip-on gadget has an FM radio and can be used as a phone as well as transmit and receive audio from any Bluetooth-enabled device.
Future innovations in wearable computers will see them nicely sewn and worn into clothing, shoes, socks or hats. Manufacturers are now producing video clips to give us a glimpse into their own versions.
For technology pundits and market analysts alike, the week ended on a sour note. They’re wondering whether the wearable computing revolution has fizzled out.
UK’s Visiongain predicts that wearable devices represent a $4.6 billion market in 2013 alone.
ABI Research predicts that sports and health gadget markets alone will ship 170 million wearable devices by 2017.
Apple did release a gizmo, the iPhone 5s with the M7 coprocessor and motion sensor that would win the fitness and health tracker market. Still, they think that was a lackluster move for Apple, after it was rumored to be secretly developing a smartwatch. Obviously, the iPhone manufacturer was fending off threats to its flank by releasing the iPhone 5s rather than venture out into the uncertain wearable devices’ market.
Issues with wearable computing marketability
Here are some of the issues affecting the key measurements of the wearable computing marketability.
Social acceptability. Many individuals disdain wearing watches these days.
Fashion statement. Not too many people are keen about wearing Google glass.
Utility. There’s not much difference about what smartwatches can do that an iPhone can’t.
Convenience. Digging for the smartphone in your pocket is a breeze.
What’s making waves in the wearable computing movement now
As big tech players seem to be reluctantly holding off releases of wearable computing products, an upstart player is making a sizable splash in the market.
Pebble smartwatch became an unlikely tech device wonder and initially sold $4.3 in just a few days and another $1 million the following day before the product even reached the market shelves last year. It is still going strong today. The product has several variants that sell like hot cakes.
Ironically, Pebble smartwatch is the only smartwatch on the market that supports the number-one smartphone, iPhone, by Apple.
Written by: Janet Grace Ortigas