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Wearable Computing Devices, Like Apple’s iWatch, Will Exceed 485 Million Annual Shipments by 2018

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Thursday, February 21st 2013


 

Wearable computing devices are projected to explode in popularity over the next year and with a wave of new gadgets set to hit the consumer market, could soon become the norm for most people within five years. ABI Research forecasts the wearable computing device market will grow to 485 million annual device shipments by 2018.

Currently, sports and activity trackers account for the largest chunk of wearable technologies shipped today. Smart activity trackers are widely available, and the device’s trendy and stylish appearance makes them very popular with a broad range of customers. It is estimated 61% of the wearable technologies market is attributed to sport/activity trackers in 2013. Smartphone compatible watches are beginning to emerge, and rumors have materialized regarding Apple releasing a smart watch some time this year. Furthermore, we will see the arrival of the much anticipated, smart glasses later this year.

“The furor about wearable technologies, particularly smart watches and smart glasses is unsurprising,” says Josh Flood, senior analyst at ABI Research. Both technologies are very stimulating and some of the applications for the device are rather inspiring. “Apple’s curved glass-based watch could prove to be a revelation in the wearable technologies market. The major question is whether the digital time piece will act as a complimentary device to the company’s iPhone smartphones or as a standalone product with other functionalities like health or activity tracking capabilities.”

Additionally, smart watches offer extra usages for an item most people already own and commonly purchase. It may become universally expected for watches to include this functionality as feature in the future. Furthermore, the capabilities of smart watches could lead to the device being used as a wearable remote for home automation systems. A quick shake of your wrist to turn off/on room lights would be a very convenient tool.

ABI’s latest “Wearable Computing Technologies” report analyzes and provides forecasts for wearable cameras, smart clothing, smart glasses, healthcare, activity trackers, 3D motion sensors, and smartphone compatible watches. Regional device shipments and some extra segment splits are also included in the report. It forms part of ABI Research’s Mobile Device Technologies Research Service.

ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research’s worldwide team of experts advises thousands of decision makers through 70+ research and advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.

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