2014 Will Be the Year of Wearable Technology

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Google Glass should be available to consumers by 2014. ©Google
Google Glass should be available to consumers by 2014.
©Google

As Google Glass is voted one of Time magazine’s 50 Best Inventions of the Year, new research shows that the market for wearable technology could be worth up to $1.5 billion by 2014.

Hailed by Time magazine on Thursday as “[t]he device that will make augmented reality part of our daily lives,” the tech giant’s Google Glass headset has already been released to developers and is expected to go on general sale in 2014, priced at $1500.

Worn like a pair of glasses, the device incorporates a speaker, microphone, computer display and forward-facing camera and enables users to surf the internet, take photos, check email, and make and receive phone calls, all through voice and gesture commands.

The device is classified as augmented reality because of the way in which it presents information and data. As the wearer looks in a certain direction, information specific to what the user can see will be presented in a non-intrusive manner in their field of vision, whether it is historical information about landmarks, the quickest route to the closest subway station, or reviews of the restaurants that line the street.

As such, Juniper Research believes that 2014 will be the watershed year for wearable technology. Its latest report into the sector, released this week, shows that the market is already worth $800 million and has grown rapidly over the past two years, driven by devices aimed at health and fitness such as Nike+ which records and analyzes data from fitness and training sessions, and the Jawbone Up, a wristband that tracks your movement, sleep patterns and calorie intake in conjunction with a smartphone.

Of the expected growth, the report’s author Nitin Bhas said: “With consumers embracing new technologies and form factors, wearable devices ranging from fitness accessories to heads-up displays will be more prevalent in the consumer market. While fitness and entertainment will have the greatest demand from consumers, within an enterprise environment, the demand for wearable devices will be greatest from the aviation and warehouse sectors.”

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