2014 will be the year of wearable tech, say analysts.
CCS Insight predicted in its annual Hotline report that while smartwatches will fail to generate significant demand before 2015, the wearable device category as a whole will begin to generate “a lot of innovation, interest and hype” throughout 2014 – ahead of a spike in growth when prices drop.
The analyst added that it expects innovation and interest in the sector to be renewed by Google’s launch of an Android operating system optimised for sub-two-inch devices this year.
However, other analysts have suggested that it will take more than lower prices to drive consumer sales of wearable tech – devices will have to present genuine utility in modern life.
SolarWinds’ Patrick Hubbard and Lawrence Garvin told PCR in a statement: “At this point, wearable tech is just a novelty gadget, and until legitimate use-cases are developed for the technology beyond just ‘having fun’, it will continue to be so.”
For some of those who do begin to upgrade their everyday item to tech-equipped replacements such as smartwatches and smartglasses, it might become unimaginable to live without the digital world.
Daniel Weisbeck, COO and CMO of Netbiscuits, stated: “2014 will see a further explosion of new devices, with many users now owning multiple devices, often engaging with different devices at the same time.”
With the increasing presence of connected devices, Netbiscuits also predicts a rise in ‘nomophobia’ – the fear
of being without a mobile phone – “driven by new device categories such as smart watches and wearable gadgets”.
BEST OF THE REST
- CCS Insight expects mobile devices such as tablets to drive the adoption of 4K displays.
- Juniper Research forecasts that technology will expand in the streets of major cities, with ‘smart cities’ hosting an infrastructure of various interconnected devices and systems.
- IDC Financial Insights sees the demand for mobile and alternative payment services staying muted in 2014, with providers attempting find a new system that resonates for both sellers and consumers.
- SolarWinds predicts a struggle ahead for retailers who sell to businesses, as it reckons personally-owned Bring Your Own Device products and subscription-based services will cause retail opportunities to dry up.