Why wearables are so much more than just a fad

Estimates on the size of the wearables sector have the market hitting around 168 million shipments by 2019 and despite that there are more than a few people that think it’ll be a passing fad to be filed alongside betamax and HD-DVD.

There are plenty of reasons why there’s no chance that will happen though…

Healthcare

Before Google decided to can its Glass there were a glut of companies investing hours in development on ways to utilise it in the healthcare sector. This included everything from giving an app to a therapist to guide them through a patient’s recovery and surgery using augmented reality to using it to assist during the diagnostic process.

Google is also developing a smart contact lens in conjunction with Novartis to record blood sugar levels of the wearer and you get the feeling that healthcare companies are only scratching the surface when it comes to wearables.

Business hasn’t even got started yet

Early usage of wearables in the workplace has shown that employees are far more productive when wearing such devices and are happier at having the technology on.

A Rackspace study last year entitled “The Human Cloud at Work: A study into the impact of wearables technologies in the workplace” found that productivity for workers using wearables rose from 7.06 per cent in the first week to 7.66 per cent in the third week.

There was also an increase in satisfaction from 6.95 per cent to 7.2 per cent over the same period.

Apple is getting involved

CEO Tim Cook confirmed yesterday that the Apple Watch will finally ship in April and with it comes the absolute guarantee that the wearables sector will lift off to a level that only Apple can trigger in the consumer electronics sector.

As we’ve seen with the iPhone and iPad in the respective smartphone and tablet markets, the mere release of an Apple product has a knock on effect that improves the fortunes of other products and the sector as a whole.

It isn’t just a watch that Apple is developing with the HomeKit and HealthKit for developers making sure that the whole house could one day be controlled by a wearable.

Fitness

New Year’s resolution come and go, the one constant that people want to kick off the New Year getting fit.

Wearables have a prominent role to play here as fitness trackers will sit alongside the glut of New Year gym memberships and as they can be used for other things outside the gym, people will immediately like the wristband more than an hour down at the gym.

It will still be a challenge to keep people interest in their fitness trackers but new add-ons, features and apps will more than suffice. Plus the lower cost compared to a full smartphone will make the replacement cycle is a shorter one.