Wearables In 2015: 4 Predictions - InformationWeek

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12/18/2014
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Wearables In 2015: 4 Predictions

Smart glasses like Google Glass get put to the test in the enterprise, while smartwatches slowly woo consumers thanks to the Apple Watch.

7 Cool Wearables For Pets
7 Cool Wearables For Pets
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survey, including the ear (headphones), the face (glasses), and the foot (clipped on a shoe).

And as it was with the iPhone, consumer adoption will carry over into work. Gownder predicts Apple Watches will slowly start showing up on employees' wrists, requiring an extension of a company's existing BYOD strategy.

3. Wearables app developers won't make money.
This may be a tough year for developers excited about wearables who are used to reaping financial rewards from successful smartphone apps, said Ballard of APX Labs.

Most mobile apps are either free with revenue coming from ads, or cost a dollar or two, and that model needs a huge user base to work -- something smart glasses and smartwatches don't have. "You won't see the next Candy Crush on Google Glass in 2015," said Ballard.

But there are still opportunities for app developers in the low-volume, but potentially high-paying, enterprise wearables space.

"A company could say to a developer, 'You did great job on our smartphone app, do you want to create the same app for Google Glass?' And they'll write the developer a contract," said Ballard.

"But that's very different from the 'app store' market where millions of smartphone users pick and choose."

4. Wearables expanding to clothes, pets, even pills.
Most of us think of glasses and wristwear when we think of wearable tech, but devices on or in clothing will ramp up in 2015, said Forrester's Gownder.

The wrist was the most popular body location in the aforementioned Forrester survey, but wearables clipped onto clothing were No. 2, with 35% saying they're interested. Nineteen percent of respondents said they're interested in wearables embedded in clothing.

"Ralph Lauren got the conversation going at this year's US Open [tennis tournament] by equipping ball boys with Polo Tech smart shirts," Gownder said. The Polo Tech shirts, designed for athletes, use built-in sensors to track the wearer's heart rate and movement, and send that data to a mobile app via a Bluetooth-enabled sensor in the shirt.

Other clothing-based wearables gaining interest among tech enthusiasts include Ducere's Lechal smart shoes and Wearable Experiments' Navigate jacket, which both use haptic feedback (vibrations) to give directions. The left or right smart shoe will vibrate, and the jacket will squeeze your left or right shoulder to indicate where to turn. Skeptics may see this as excessive tech and argue, somewhat justifiably, that walking directions are available via smartphone or smartwatch. But one of the goals of integrating tech, fashion, and fitness in 2015 and beyond is to make the wearable "invisible" -- to be heard or felt but not seen.

In the coming year, Forrester also sees wearable and Internet of Things (IoT) technology expanding past clothing and wrists and onto our pets via devices from FitBark and Voyce for activity tracking and remote monitoring; inside our bedrooms through devices like Withings Aura Smart Sleep System that tracks sleep; and even inside our bodies with a product like the PillCam, a pill-shaped camera that navigates a person's gastrointestinal track when swallowed.

With such a broad range, the name "wearables" may no longer suffice. How about Everywhereables?

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Shane O'Neill is Managing Editor for InformationWeek. Prior to joining InformationWeek, he served in various roles at CIO.com, most notably as assistant managing editor and senior writer covering Microsoft. He has also been an editor and writer at eWeek and TechTarget. ... View Full Bio

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batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
1/2/2015 | 2:25:01 PM
Re: wearables
@impactnow I think soon we gonna see it everywhere as it grows...
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
1/2/2015 | 2:23:43 PM
Re: wearables
@StaceyE interesting I trust we only see into of wearable technolog... I think it gonna keep grow rapidly as technology develops...
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
1/2/2015 | 10:08:24 AM
Re: wearables
@staceyE. I think wearables are still make for a niche user population; although, it could be use to get people with weight problems to manage their food and calorie intake.  the problem I issue is to convince people to get the device and use it on a regular basis.
StaceyE
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StaceyE,
User Rank: Ninja
12/31/2014 | 3:06:59 PM
Re: wearables
Hi Pedro

I agree with you that wearable technology had a ton of potential in the healthcare industry. It would be so much easier to monitor a heart patient through technology in his t-shirt than a cumbersome medical device strapped around his wrist...
impactnow
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impactnow,
User Rank: Author
12/29/2014 | 4:31:12 PM
Re: wearables

Wearbales are going beyond consumers .I read the NFL was testing wearables on their players during specific games to provide teams with more insight on a particular player and their performance so it's already making its impact there. Wearables are able being used in many offices and factories for employee efficiency benefits.

nomii
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nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
12/24/2014 | 2:05:31 AM
Re: Directions
Technology addicts are still finding the reason to wear a smartwatch whereas the conventional user of the watch will stick to its original form. Usually people gets cautious about their health at certain age when they will be really interested in using smartwatch health feature. Before that, health monitoring would be the least concern of an average user. I still feel it like an addon.
impactnow
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impactnow,
User Rank: Author
12/23/2014 | 5:39:40 PM
Options beyond cool

Wearable navigation maybe a great solution for helping the visually impaired navigate to places they need to go—especially if its voice activated. I think wearables can offer great benefits beyond the cool factor to those who are disabled or who suffer from chronic medical conditions.

Stratustician
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Stratustician,
User Rank: Ninja
12/18/2014 | 2:02:50 PM
Re: Directions
Funny enough, this is probably the only feature I really use from my Pebble smartwatch aside from being able to see texts and emails.  It's practical for when I am commuting so I can avoid staring at my phone, but beyond that I still haven't found too much use for it otherwise.  Smart watches are great concepts, but when my desktop email signals and then my phone and watch, it's a little overkill in the notification department.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
12/18/2014 | 1:10:01 PM
Directions
Love the example of a piece of clothing giving you haptic cues for navigating a new place. Hadn't heard that one. Imagine that, combined with google maps, would appeal to many people visting NYC or Boston, for example. You can't be looking at your iphone every two seconds.
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
12/18/2014 | 12:58:29 PM
Re: wearables
@PedroG Yes, there's amazing potential there. And having the sensors built into clothes makes them less obtrusive than having them in bulky plastic strapped to one's wrist.
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