This year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was full of new wearable computing products from a wide variety of tech companies. It's clear that those companies are banking on devices such as smart watches as being the next big growth segment for the tech industry, and they may not be entirely wrong.
Market research firm ABI Research today released a report predicting that 90 million wearable computing devices will be shipped during 2014. Many of these devices will be in the form of smart watches and smart glasses, but the firm believes that only devices tailored the fitness and healthcare sectors will see significant sales and adoption.
“The next twelve months will be a critical period for the acceptance and adoption of wearable devices,” said Joshua Flood, senior analyst at ABI. “Healthcare and sports and activity trackers are rapidly becoming mass-market products. On the flip side, wearable devices like smart watches need to overcome some critical obstacles. Aesthetic design, more compelling use cases, battery life and lower price points are the main inhibitors. How vendors approach these challenges and their respective solutions will affect the wearable market far in the future.”
Overall, ABI sees smart watch and smart glasses devices as being a relatively minor portion of the wearable device market over the coming year, though it does predict that more than two million smart glasses will ship in 2014. Meanwhile, brands not normally associated with tech such as clothing companies could enter the market in force, providing fitness and healthcare solutions more tailored to their customers' needs.
Image via Nike