Watch out folks, a wearables explosion isn't far off

Wearable devices such as smart watches are yet to really take the world by storm but, according to new findings from Juniper Research, it may not take long for the tide to turn.

The research analysed current and future trends of the consumer and enterprise wearable markets and estimated that global wearable device shipments will reach 116 million units by 2017, more than quadrupling the current figure of around 27 million.

Read more: Google Glass and Apple Watch: Intrusive vs non-intrusive wearables

Furthermore, smart wearable device revenues are expected to reach $53 billion (£32bn) by 2019.

The report states that, due to technology giants such as Google, Samsung and Qualcomm moving to produce operating systems and databanks specifically for wearable devices, smaller companies will be able to focus purely on the hardware, leading to an explosion of devices.

The downside of this is that it means the software will continue to be built around a companion smartphone in order to maintain a dual revenue stream, thereby making it harder for independent companies to get any traction in the market.

This trend will also have an effect on the health and fitness industry as devices become more and more capable and offer greater functionality.

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Gadgets such as the Samsung Gear Fit and Razer Nabu now offer notification services as well as fitness and activity tracking, meaning pure fitness wearables are likely to be pushed aside.

Whatever your thoughts on the current selection of smart wearables out there, it does seem implausible to think that they won't become mainstream in the future. The only questions left are when will it happen and who's going to be leading the charge?