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Wearables Shipments to Reach 2.5 Million in Central and Eastern Europe by 2020

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Wearables shipments in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) have increased 78.7% year on year in the first quarter of 2016 to reach 328,000 units, according to the Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker published by International Data Corporation (IDC).

Smart wearable devices account for one fifth of the whole market (21.4%), while basic wearables account for the remainder. The main characteristic that sets a so-called smart wearable apart is the ability to run 3rd-party applications.

Smart wearables and basic wearables shipments as a whole in CEE are projected to reach 2.5 million units in 2020, reflecting 121.11% growth compared to 2015, with the majority of the growth stemming from sales of smart devices. Smart eyewear shipments are expected to grow in the triple-digits over the next three years, accounting for 20.1% share of the total smart wearables market by 2020.

"Wearables are one aspect of the digital transformation that is currently impacting the global economy," says Jirí Teršel, senior research analyst for the mobile and wireless markets with IDC CEMA. "The expected growth of the wearables market is accompanied by a huge opportunity for the software industry and, as such, is tremendously attractive for developers, especially those savvy in machine learning, optical recognition, and artificial intelligence."

On one hand, the marginal utility of wearables technology for consumers is less than that of the previous computing technologies - i.e., PCs, notebooks and tablets - and likewise for vendors in terms of revenue. On the other hand, the positive side of this transformational process is that new, disruptive, and exciting technologies are coming to global markets at a faster rate than ever. Emerging augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies, some of which are wearable, will blend actual and virtual realities to create a new mode of human existence. "Human interconnectedness supported by this technology, along with next generation (5G) networks, will have a similar effect as the Internet had, once the productive phase is reached," adds Teršel.

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Tags: wearables