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Research shows wearable tech on the rise but still not moving mountains

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Findings from Forrester Research has claimed the wearables industry is most likely to take-off in the health and wellness, though it will still be the minority of the population by 2020.

Research around the development and monetary value of the IoT industry are not uncommon, though numerous pieces do seem to demonstrate the same point; there is excitement, but the consumer industry will be slow to take off. The Forrester research outlined a number of use cases for wearables in the consumer work, though the reception of the technology would still appear to be limited by 2021.

Of the use cases put forward, health and well-being was the most popular, with 17% of respondents stating they use wearables for such cases currently, and up to 30% would consider it in the next few years. The team estimate total adoption of wearable devices will reach 29% in 2021, up from 18% last year.

Although the research does demonstrate progress, it would not appear to be the blockbuster success on which numerous companies are betting on. Smartwatch sales for instance are estimated to reach $16 million in 2021, which will account for one-third of the 46 million wearables sold.

Forrester believe the growth of the industry will be fuelled by increased consumer adoption of mobile payments, voice, notifications, and wellness applications. This might well be the case, though the success of wearables is possibly linked closer to the development of connectivity in the devices.

Ericsson ConsumerLab conducted a survey which claimed consumer enthusiasm for wearables technology is still growing but vendors are not meeting price or functionality expectations. Price is generally a barrier to entry for the moment, though the devices are unlikely to take off until they are strand alone devices.

For the moment, smartwatches and other wearable tech are limited in the fast the user still has to have a smartphone in close proximity. Until the product becomes a connectivity vessel in itself, wearable technology is unlikely to be more than an expensive gimmick, as opposed to a tool for the digital economy.

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