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Five Reasons Why 2015 Will be the Year of the Wearable

Wearable technology, from smart watches to fitness trackers, is gaining popularity

By Livability.com on January 22, 2015

©iStock.com/spooh

Wearable technology isn’t new, but it has yet to go mainstream– according to a recent wearable tech study, only about 25 percent of adults currently use a digital device/smartphone app/fitness tracker. This leaves huge potential for growth, especially since the majority of respondents also said they’d be willing to use a fitness tracker if their physician provided it or if it could reduce their insurance premiums.

(For even more insight watch this video by Technology Advice.)

Until this year, wearables have been a predominantly health-related technology. You may have a fitness-infatuated friend who uses a FitBit. You may even know professionals in the healthcare field pairing wearables with medical software to track patients’ wellness.

But the wearables market is changing.

Smartwatches like the Pebble, Moto 360, or the Samsung Gear S are already available. But it’s likely Apple who will make 2015 the year of the wearable, with the introduction of the Apple Watch in February.

The Apple Watch is to wearables what the iPhone was to smartphones in 2007 – or at least, it could be. Apple has the design acumen and marketing power to help make wearable technology go mainstream, even  though they’re not the only wearable technology company. In fact, hundreds of companies are clamoring for a spot on your wrist, in front of your eyes, or close to just about any part of your body.

Here are five trends you’ll likely see in 2015 as wearable technology prevails like never before.

  1. Wearables will be broadly categorized as either comprehensive or single-purpose. Comprehensive wearables like the Apple Watch have the opportunity to be widely adopted because of their many uses, but single-purpose wearables like the fitness-only-focused FitBit will provide more in-depth information and applicability for specifically targeted groups.

  2. Cheaper, single-purpose wearables will overwhelm the market. For instance, the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) featured 50 wearables. While not all of these wearables will make it to consumers this year, the sheer number reveals that the wearables category is set to increase exponentially over the next few years.

  3. Wearables will become fashion-conscious. Product manufacturers will strive to ensure that a wearable is both practical and design-savvy. For the most part, current wearables have been plastic and sporty, which makes sense considering that most current wearables are meant for recreational uses. However, companies creating comprehensive wearables will make a concerted effort to distance themselves from cheaper-looking wearables in order to cater to fashionable consumers.

  4. Wearables will be built into clothing. Instead of purchasing clothes and a wearable, some companies will provide all-in-one solutions that have wearable technology already built into their clothing. For instance, when a sports clothing manufacturer inserts a wearable into its compression shirts, a person wearing such a shirt could learn more about how their body moves during a run or workout, so they could later tweak their movements for maximum efficiency. Such wearable-enabled clothing stands to make great strides in preventative healthcare, as this video summary attests.

  5. Wearables will be integrated into the Internet of Things. “The Internet of Things” describes common household technologies that have wifi capabilities, like smart thermostats or electronic door locks. Wearables could help unlock such doors or accomplish other tasks in connection to whatever other devices may be online in their home. Many smartphones can already accomplish such tasks, but wearables provide better battery life and a less likelihood of being lost.

2015 will likely provide a wide array of options for consumers when it comes to wearables, but it will be interesting to see which ones become wildly popular.

Of the five future trends mentioned above, which one has you the most excited? Or, what would you add? Let us know in the comments below. 

 
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