In depth: Wearables and the future of consumption
We’ve worn technology for decades: from headphones, to hearing aids, to prosthetics, to glasses, sunglasses, goggles, and diving masks to Bluetooth headsets, to helmets, to watches, to signet rings, to as far back as clothing, to perhaps even perfume – wearing innovation isn’t foreign or new to humans.
In developed nations, smartphones as we know them today are on the way out… or on the way in… depending on how you perceive their evolution: relegation to your pocket.
This is not apparent yet but as wearable technology, especially eyeware, becomes more prevalent over the next 24 months, smartphones of the future will become the smart pocket computers of the future. Their decline will be accelerated by smart eyeware, smart watches, improved acoustical or bone conduction technology, a number of other technology applications to the consumption of information, and a changing user mindset.
After all it is easier to read on an iPad than an iPhone, it is easier to be notified of or read text message on a watch than a smartphone, speak through a headset than a handset, interact with augmented reality through eyeware then a smartphone or tablet.
The increase in development and adoption of wearables will be driven by data, simplification of tasks, miniaturization and improvement of technology, the internet of things, and need for consumption of information in real time such as applications of augmented reality.
The smart pocket phone will do the grunt of the work – data crunching, geo-location, application running, communication network linking – and may on occasion still be used but this will be less and less likely.
In the meantime the proliferation of smartphones worldwide will continue and consumer behavior will gravitate more and more to consuming content and information on mobile devices in pursuit of whatever, whenever, wherever.
Today’s wearable market
According to Vandrico, the market comprises 142 devices, with an average price of US$385. And Deloitte predicts wearables to sell 10 million units in 2014, generating an estimated $3 billion, with sales to surpass 100 million units by 2020.
Successful wearbles will be worn on the body throughout their use (they should not be carried), be controllable by the user either actively or passively, and will augment knowledge, facilitate learning or enhance experience.
Further more, the market has yet to see wearable technology that has significant press coverage and that is currently in development, such as Scanadu.
Interesting to note too is that most devices have focused on being worn on the head and that sectors such as industrial or B2B have at this time almost been unexplored.
The B2B sector will be a huge market and right now is the land of opportunity in the wearable technology market. Deloitte is bullish on the business sector leading the wearables market.
Deloitte explains there predictions on wearbles in this video: