The Rise of Mobile and Wearable Technology: Is 2014 the Year?If you were to ask me if this is the year of wearable technology, I would have to say yes. Especially since I just completed my purchase of a pair of Google glasses. Not to mention my husband wears a Samsung Galaxy smart watch and we both have fitbits. As an internet marketer, anyway I can stay connected is a bonus for me.
Now, if you and I were to have a conversation 15 years ago about wearable technology, it would probably involve talking about one of my favorite movies, Robocop. In case you forgot, the movie features a character called Alex Murphy who is critically injured in the line of duty and becomes part-man, part-robot who helps rid Detroit of crime. How cool was that 15 years ago. Wow, the possibilities of using technology literally as an extension of our bodies.
Fast forward to 2014 and technology has upped its game to new heights. Technology is now an extension of our bodies and these new technologies have a significant impact on our lives.
Our Love Affair With Mobile Technology
I’m going to take you down memory lane now. Think about how your life has changed when the smartphone was introduced to the world less than 10 years ago. If you are like me, your smartphone literally has your life stored on there.
When walking down the street today, I rarely see people without some sort of mobile technology. I can safely bet that people would forget their lunches (maybe even our keys?) before they do their phones or ipads.
When Apple first introduced its iPhone in 2007 to the mass consumer market, it sparked a revolution a few people could have predicted. According to Pew Internet Project’s research, about 56% of Americans own a smartphone. This could rise as much as 63% in 2014. Global Web Index reports that 60% of users all over the world use Android phones and will rise to 80% by the time 2016 rolls around.
Let’s not forget other types of mobile technology like tablets and laptops. Their use is on the rise, and there is no sign of stopping. Clunky desktops saw a decline in sales, from 86% to 58% in April 2013. More and more people really love their laptops. Statics scatted all over the web are already predicting that in 2014 mobile usage will overtake desktop usage, even in countries like China.
And can anybody remember what a paperback novel looks like? So many people own eReaders these days. In fact, 26% of Americans do. In 2014 this number will most likely increase. Now me, I love audible.com and listening to my books, right from my smartphone!
Laptops too heavy for you? You’re not the only one who thinks that. There was a 282% increase in tablet ownership from 2013 alone. Android also dominates this market at 52%, according to Global Web Index.
It’s fascinating to think how new technologies can change us, in the way we act, think, socialize, work, and communicate. And yet another revolution is just beginning.
The Rise of Wearable Technology
2014 is going to be an interesting year for wearable technology developers. According to statistics from Juniper Research, the wearable technology market is predicted to grow quickly in the next few years.
Ever since Google introduced its Glass in March 2013, I have heard all kinds of buzz about other types of wearable technology. Wearable gadgets like watches, fitness trackers and sleeping monitors are suddenly cropping up out of nowhere. Sure, they might be limited in functionality, but the fact that they are mobile is what’s so appealing to consumers. Think about it: Customers are purchasing items such as tablets because they can take them anywhere. Of course companies are going to create products that meet this type of demand.
Other than Google Glass, Recon Instruments created Recon Jet sunglasses that features an onboard sensor and heads up display for athletes. The fact that you can use it with your smartphone means that they may target more than their initial consumer base of triathletes and cyclists.
Walking down the street, you might have spotted large ads for weird looking watches. I have to admit, I was suckered in and bought one for my husband for Christmas this year. These contraptions, called smartwatches, are your trusty sidekick to your smartphone. Samsung Galaxy Gear is probably the most well-known at the moment, with the new version of its smartwatch rolling out April this year. Other examples include the Sony SmartWatch 2 and the Pebble watch. People are already speculating that Apple will roll out with its own version sometime in 2014. Companies like Exetech are currently developing a watch that features WIFI and cellular connections so you can make and receive calls from your wrist.
Even Nike has caught onto the trend. There will definitely be some fierce competition for their two products, the Fuelband and Fitbit line of trackers.
Will 2014 Be The Year?
Consumers’ love affairs with all things mobile make it pretty safe to assume that 2014 will be the year mobile and wearable technology will blow up. Samsung Galaxy is all set to release a second version of the smartwatch, and the anticipation of Apple’s version will only create more hype. Don’t forget Google Glass. This wearable eyewear has people predicting that it will help others (like myself) heavily increasing their productivity. Who doesn’t want to get more done?
Predictions are saying that these types of devices will reach 100 million devices by 2016. Juniper Research forecasts that there will be worldwide spending of $1.4 billion on wearable technology. We might see an all-out battle come of this.
Let’s not forget app developers. There are going to be numerous opportunities if these types of technologies continue to rise. Juniper predicts that apps in the communication, health, fitness and sports categories can benefit the most.
I am currently split in my thoughts. I do think this is the year of wearable technology. However, is wearable technology actually solving a problem? What do you think?
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