The Weareable Computer Market

Apple plans to respond to the pressure over its market value releasing a wristwatch with iOS bring again to the fore the concept of wearable computing, artifacts and gadgets of all kinds which we carry on with us every time.

From the curious nail watch concept published by Timex, to an entire constellation of meters, sensors, cameras, glasses and earphones ranging from wildly futuristic to directly absurd, it is estimated that the market for wearable computing will reach 1.5 billions of dollars next year.

The activity monitors like Jawbone UpNike Fuel BandMisfit Shine or Fitbit made a category by themselves: my Fitbit is the device I carry more constantly, I take it off only for showing or swimming, and I use it to assess from my exercise to my sleep quality, and it works even as alarm clock thanks to its vibration programmable alert (with the surplus of not disturbing my wife, who wakes up usually later than me). Since yesterday, too, it syncs directly with Android (already did it with iOS), which means not having to rely on your computer to virtually nothing but to charge it once every two weeks.

Cameras that capture our life, like that Memoto of which we spoke here when it was still at the planning stage, or the not really new and directly designed as spy cameras that made other subcategory by its own rights, as do the watches like the already quoted Apple's project, or the more real I’m WatchMotoActvSony LiveView or Pebble that provide support to multiple functions through integration with smartphones and the possibility of installing apps. If we add glasses, either by the augmented reality model of the Google's Project Glass, the idea of viewing the screen of the smartphone in HUD mode or the immersive concepts like those destined to the gamer world, we are starting to play with more futuristic ideas. And, from there, it can move to concepts for marginal or directly extravagant needs, from sandals with metal detector to a wrist pad. You can see many examples in this article, Top 20 wearable gadgets.

The wearable computing seems to be becoming the next frontier of consumer electronics seeking new growth areas. While some of its uses and possibilities seem very interesting, practical or even desirable for a healthy lifestyle, and they are moving towards a longer average consumer rather than the "technological fashion-victim", others seem extravagant or simple concepts that it's hard to imagine as subjects of mass adoption. What devices or concepts you can imagine taking in the near future or which you generate a feeling of "no, not that way"?

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Enrique Dans