Wearables Are Hot, but It's Still Early Days

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The buzz around wearable technology is growing fast with companies such as Samsung Google and Qualcomm introducing products and a host of others including Apple and Intel widely rumored to be developing wearables. That buzz is expected to reach a fever pitch this year at International CES in Las Vegas but according to several longtime tech industry observers the market for wearables is still emergent.

CES 2014 will be about "super low-cost wearables of all kinds," said tech industry analyst Geoff Blaber, vice president research, CCS Insight.

Blaber's forecast indicates the relatively primitive state of the wearable technology market and it's a view shared by others as well.

"We are in the very early days of wearable computers," said Jon Peddie, president, Jon Peddie Research, a tech analyst firm. He believes wearables won't be commercial successes yet. The first wave of wearable devices in the phone format have been disappointing, according to Peddie. He cited slow response time, high costs and short battery life as hurdles the industry will have to overcome. Peddie does think wearables will play a critical role with the Internet of Things (IoT) in the future because, he said, it will "augment our life."

The way that wearables can augment our lives can differ widely. Some wearable gadgets focus on a particular niche, while others are more rounded and simply include connectivity or proximity interaction.

Another tech industry analyst, Ben Bajarin, principal, Creative Strategies, also sees lots of interest and excitement around wearables and IoT and expects increased activity with connected gadgets and appliances.

"Everyday things that weren't smart before are getting smarter through sensors and processors," said Bajarin. "Within the IoT movement, wearables will represent "experimentation, not necessarily innovation."

At this early stage, technology providers are still searching for what consumers will embrace and that will translate to a mass of wearable devices being announced at CES.

While there is a "fair amount of wearable activity," according to Mike Feibus, principal analyst, TechKnowledge Strategies, wearables are pretty much still at the experimental stage.

Click on images to enlarge

Wearable technology for the wrist

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