Wearable Computing: 2014 HorizonWatching Trend Report

I’ve just published my trend report on the topic of Wearable Computing.  You can get a the PDF out on my HorizonWatching Slideshare account

About Wearables:

Wearable devices incorporate advanced electronic technologies that allow for activity tracking via sensors, wireless communications, and computing capability normally found in smartphones.

Based on all my research and reading…all signs point towards wearable computing  (wearables as they are becoming known) becoming the next big thing in consumer technology products. Fitness trackers are exploding on the market and there is a whole new categories wearables that are being launched as accessories to smartphones, including smartwatches and smartglasses.  And there are also emerging categories such as smartrings, wearable healthcare monitors, smartclothing, and heads-up displays.   And just like smartphones made their way into the enterprise, so will wearables.

The future of wearables looks bright as it  leverages the 3rd computing platform and is at the intersection of internet of things and mobile computing.  Wearable devices incorporate advanced electronic technologies that allow for activity tracking via sensors, wireless communications, and computing capability normally found in smartphones.  In the future, they will be able to communicate with other computers, mobile devices, wearables and ‘things’ in the Internet of Things.

15 Wearable Trends to Watch in 2014

  1. Fitness Trackers:  Enterprises will increasingly give trackers to employees as part of health and wellness programs. Overtime, trackers will experience increased competition from other wearables, including smart clothing.
  2. SmartWatches:  Expect more fashionable and functional watches to hit the market in 2014. Smartwatch developers must focus on cutting prices, adding more apps, and improving the look to attract broad consumer interest. The expected iWatch announcement from Apple might just do for watches what the iPhone did for mobile phones
  3. Smart Glasses:  Expect a number of announcements in 2014 within smart glasses, which has huge potential for any workforce that could benefit from access to hands free computing. Google isn’t the only game in town. Vuzix, GlassUp, Recon Instruments and Telepathy are ones to watch too.
  4. Smart Clothing:  Real, working smart clothing might be a bit further off, but it’s on its way. Smart Clothing like OMSignal, Hexoskin and Athos will lead the way.
  5. Fashion Required!!:  For consumer wearables to really take off, they must be fashionable. In 2014, look for leading device manufacturers to focus on the fashion and style of these devices.
  6. Healthcare Monitors:  Wearable technology is likely to significantly disrupt our healthcare model as we know it, helping doctors and patients keep track of real-time health data in ways never capable before.
  7. Enterprise Adoption:  In 2014 leading edge companies will begin to explore using wearables not only for employee wellness programs, but for other applications designed to improve worker productivity.
  8. New Business Processes:  As wearables enter the workforce, we will find new ways to use these devices to help us make better business decisions. Business process engineers will explore new ways to reengineer older business processes in order to do just that.
  9. Wearables Apps: New apps are required to integrate wearable data into business applications. As the user base grows for wearables, so too will the developer community which will bring some new and exciting use cases for wearables including some killer features that will justify their need.
  10. Big Data to get Bigger:  Wearables, a subset of Internet of Things, will produce even more data than we have now, taxing our already complex enterprise Information Management systems and data warehouses.
  11. Wearables Analytics:  Advanced analytics and dashboards will be needed to provide insights from all the wearables. Some wearable devices will have embedded analytics and cognitive capability right on the device.
  12. Wearable Communications:  In the future, wearables will communicate not only with smartphones, but with other ‘things’, both other wearables and other sensors/devices. This ability to communicate seamlessly andd transparently will provide new and innovative capabilities for enterprises to leverage wearables.
  13. Security: In 2014, IT professionals will need to decide how to cope with the increasing threat from wearables.  For those who found implementing BYOD a challenge over the past few years, expect the bring your own wearable (BYOW) issues to be much harder to figure out
  14. Privacy:  There will be increased interest on the part of consumers to 1) protect the personal data that is being collected via their own wearables and 2) protect against unlawful video recording from smartglasses and other cameras.
  15. Ecosystem Partnerships:  Traditional IT vendors accelerate their partnerships with wearable providers, mobile app developers, global telecom service providers and semiconductor vendors.

31 Influential Tech Writers Covering the Emerging Wearable Computing Market

Wearable Computing is an emerging trend that will have an impact across consumer and enterprise markets.  I like to think of Wearable devices as another ‘thing’ in the billions of sensors that makes of the emerging Internet of Things.  Over the next decade critical consumer and business applications will make use of these wearable sensors to help us all make decisions about how we can improve our lives and business outcomes.

Next week I will post my trend report “Wearable Computing Technology” to slideshare where it will be available for download.   I’m still working on finalizing that trend report, but the current draft has about 80 slides packed with information on Wearable Computing Technology and the potential impact on enterprises.

One of the slides I will have in that deck will have the following list of Tech Writers/Journalists who are following Wearables market…and who have over 1,000 followers on Twitter.  These are all influential writers who are interested in how the Wearables market is developing.  They have all recently authored articles about the Wearable Computing trend.

I’ve included their Twitter ID below along with a recent pull of how many followers they have on Twitter.  The list is sorted by that follower count.

  1. Dan Farber, Former Editor at CBS Interactive, dbfarber,  31200
  2. Stephen Shankland, Senior writer at CNET News, stshank,  23200
  3. Anthony Ha,  TechCrunch writer, anthonyha,  20200
  4. Todd Wasserman, Mashable business editor, ToddWasserman,  16400
  5. Don Reisinger, Blogger/Writer, CNET,  donreisinger,  14500
  6. Jay Yarow,  Blogger/Writer, Business Insider,  jyarow,  11100
  7. Samantha Murphy Kelly,  Blogger/Writer, Mashable,  HeySamantha,  11000
  8. Frederic Lardinois,  Blogger/Writer, TechCrunch,  fredericl,  11000
  9. Darrell Etherington,  BloggerWriter at TechCrunch,  drizzled,  9088
  10. Zack Whittaker,  Writer, editor. @ZDNet, @CNET,  zackwhittaker,  8538
  11. Steve Kovach,  Senior tech editor at Business Insider,  stevekovach,  8486
  12. Rip Empson,  Blogger/Writer, TechCrunch,  ripemp,  7736
  13. Steve O’Hear,  Blogger/Writer, TechCrunch,  sohear,  7479
  14. Scott Stein,  CNET Senior Editor,  jetscott, 7478
  15. Pete Pachal,  Tech Editor at @Mashable,  petepachal,  7426
  16. Lance Whitney,  Blogger/Writer, CNET,  lancewhit,  7214
  17. Matt Burns,  Blogger/Writer, TechCrunch,  mjburnsy,  6175
  18. Brad Molen,  Blogger/Writer, Engadget,  phonewisdom,  5426
  19. Jordan Crook,  Blogger/Writer, TechCrunch, jordanrcrook,  5212
  20. Shara Tibken, Blogger/Writer, CNET,  sharatibken,  4653
  21. Chris Velazco,  Blogger/Writer, TechCrunch,  chrisvelazco, 4577
  22. Dara Kerr, Blogger/Writer, CNET, darakerr,  4356
  23. Brooke Crothers, Blogger/Writer, CNET,  mbrookec,  4331
  24. Jon Fingas,  Blogger/Writer, Engadget,  jonfingas,  4163
  25. Mark Johnson,  CEO, Zite,  philosophygeek,  3533
  26. Chris Matyszczyk,  Blogger/Writer, CNET,  ChrisMatyszczyk,  3478
  27. Jon Phillips,  Editor-in-chief of @PCWorld and @agreenbot,  JonPhillipsSF,  2195
  28. Daniel Cooper,  Blogger, Engadget,  danielwcooper,  2129
  29. Sharif Sakr,  Blogger/Writer, Engadget,  shotsheriff,  1857
  30. H. James Wilson,  Harvard Business Review writer and blogger,  hjameswilson,  1820
  31. Vignesh Ramachandran,  Blogger/Writer, Mashable,  VigneshR, 1012

Wearables has a big place in the future of Mobile Computing

As mentioned previously, I am working on a Trend Report on the topic of Wearables.  The more I work on it, the more content I develop….pushing back the publication date further and further.  The report will be similar in look and feel to my other published trend reports.

Mobile computing devices continue to shrink in size and adapt to free up our hands, making it more convenient than ever for users to multitask.  Wearable computing, or wearables, is the buzz of the mobile community in 2014.   Consumers are increasingly buying the fitness bands and trackers as a way to monitor their activities.  And new devices like smart glasses and smart watches are invading the market.  As they do, application developers are beginning to see new opportunities for applications that gather data, perform analysis on that data, and then provide analytics and visualizations back to the user.

Juniper Research says “The retail revenue from smart wearable devices, including smart watches and glasses, will reach $19 billion by 2018.”   Gartner says “The worldwide revenue from wearable electronic devices, apps and services for fitness and personal health is anticipated to be $1.6 billion this year, increasing to $5 billion by 2016”.

While the wearables market still has very much a consumer feel to it, 2014 will be the year leading enterprises are piloting fitness trackers for employee wellness / fitness programs and smart glasses / smart watches for enhancing worker productivity.   Adding further momentum to the growth of the market will be the entry of most of the major platforms into the space, including Google, Microsoft, Samsung, and Apple.

For more on the the future of wearables, check out the following resources:

I hope to have my Trend Report published in the next week or two.  Until then, check out my other Trend Reports at  http://www.slideshare.net/horizonwatching

Friday Gadget: Future Wearable Devices and Design Concepts

As mentioned in my post Friday Gadget: Rapport Device Detects and Reacts to Human Emotions I am resurrecting my series of Friday Gadget posts.

As I have been researching Wearables this past month, I thought I would provide a post about concept designs for future wearables

There is a ton of work going on by designers to make wearables more fashionable and functional.  The future looks bright for wearables!

List of Media Tech and Gadget Websites Covering Wearables

Wearables will eventually go mainstream in enterprises.  Not all employees will use wearables in their daily tasks, but there will be many employees that will use wearables to help them do their job better.

I am nearing the end of my research into Wearables and will be publishing my 2014 Trend / Resource Report soon.  Hopefully this weekend.

While doing my research, I checked out various media outlet resources to understand what was being written about various devices and capabilities.  The list below will appear in my report.

The list above is not exhaustive, but does cover the major tech and gadget sites that are covering the growth in wearables….mostly from a consumer (vs. enterprise) perspective.