A report released earlier today from Juniper Research (News - Alert) has enormous implications for both the technology industry and the fashion industry alike. The report puts the value of the wearable devices market at over $1.5 billion by 2014, up from $800 million this year alone. That's going to turn the wearable device market--including the increasingly popular "smart glasses" concept--into the next big thing in both industries.
The Juniper Research report in question, "Smart Wearable Devices: Fitness, Healthcare, Entertainment & Enterprise 2012-2017," says that 2014 is going to be the tipping point as far as wearable devices go. With several big names already looking into the field--including Google, Apple (News - Alert), and even Nike by virtue of the Nike+ app release--it's clear that wearable technology is about to be a thing, and quite a thing at that.
The report goes on to make some very important conclusions, beginning with the projection that North America and Europe will dominate the market, accounting for fully 60 percent of global sales in wearable devices. Additionally, sales of fitness and sports devices will be higher in terms of number of devices sold than healthcare devices, the retail value of the health sector will be slightly higher than that of the fitness and sports sector, suggesting that the average cost of health devices will be higher than those geared toward sports and fitness.
While today, wearable devices are simply referred to as a "future form factor," it's clear that they're going to gain plenty of ground as the market carries on. Since there are so many potential applications for wearable technology, there's plenty of room in the market for most anything that can make a decent case to potential customers. The "smart glasses" many cite in this space are one idea--and one idea that has generated plenty of interest--but there are many more applications from there, like e-readers or tablet-style computers that can be worn on the wrist in the "Pip-Boy" style and make them more mobile than they already are. Moreover, in some cases, wearable technology can provide full readouts on hospital patients without the need for electrodes or tubes, making them more comfortable while still providing necessary information to physicians.
There is a lot of room in the wearable technology space, and plenty of interest to go along with it. This suggests that there's likely to be quite a rush into the market space, and provides plenty of support for the Juniper Research report that expects big gains in the very near future.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey