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Wearable Market will Soar to $80 Billion
Wearable Tech World Feature Article
February 25, 2015
Wearable Market will Soar to $80 Billion
By Joe Rizzo
TMCnet Contributing Writer

One thing that I learned a long time ago is that functionality without some form behind it is generally not going to be accepted. This is probably more especially true in the world of wearable technology. While the technology may be great, giving you a lot of functionality to play with, if a smart watch looks like you are wearing a phone on your wrist, then no one will wear it. On the other hand, if it was designed to look like a luxury watch, you would not only wear it and use it, but you would also be showing it off.

Juniper Research (News - Alert) is one of the leading analyst firms in the mobile and digital tech sector. It was founded in 2001 by Tony Crabtree. Juniper specializes in identifying and appraising new high growth market sectors within the digital ecosystem. This week, Juniper released a little insight in what it believes will become the most disruptive technologies over the next five years.

The latest report is entitled, “The World in 2020 – A Technology Vision” and Juniper’s new research platform has been designed to offer a fresh approach to understanding the mobile, online and digital world. Tony Crabtree said, "Designed from the ground up, Juniper’s new research platform offers clients a rich source of market intelligence, data and expertise geared towards driving competitive advantage. We have also made our research much more accessible, with attractive corporate subscriptions, a more modular approach, and an environment where clients can utilize the research across their enterprise, license free."

One of the key findings with respect to wearable technology is that we will be seeing significant adoption of what is being referred to as invisible wearables. We are not talking about the cloak of invisibility. The term refers to wearables that are indistinguishable from non-smart technology. I mentioned the smart watch as one such example.

Fashion-first wearables, that are less obviously gadgets, will have a much greater appeal than tech-centric devices. This is due to the fact that they will blend in with consumers’ lives more effectively and not stand out. This should open the field to many more players since differences in aesthetic, rather than function, appeal to different consumers.

Currently, the focus has been on developing capabilities before adding the aesthetic value. This has a way of limiting your choices since the devices requirements become the overriding factor. Juniper believes that the current approach is to prioritize form over function, to make devices that are aesthetically desirable even if they are not smart.

The report goes on to state that these technologies require a shift in thinking about what constitutes wearable technology. Instead of applying computing to a variety of screen sizes, computing capabilities will have to emerge that are tailored to each different form factor.

Keeping these ideas in mind, the market size should grow considerably over the next five years. The forecast is that if the wearables technology becomes invisible by 2020, the market will grow and reach the $80 billion mark.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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