Demand for wearable computing devices are forecast to grow rapidly over the next year. With a wave of new gadgets set to reach the consumer electronics market, it's very possible that this technology could become commonplace within five years.
According to the latest market study by ABI Research, they now forecast that the wearable computing device market will grow to 485 million annual device shipments by 2018.
Currently, sports and activity trackers account for the vast majority of wearable technologies shipped.
Smart activity trackers are widely available, and this device's trendy and stylish appearance makes them very popular with a broad range of customers.
It's estimated that 61 percent of the wearable technologies market is attributed to sport or activity related trackers in 2013.
Smartphone compatible watches are beginning to emerge, and it has been reported that Apple may have plans to release a smart watch some time this year.
Furthermore, it has been reported that we will see the commercial arrival of the much anticipated smart glasses from Google and others, sometime in 2013.
"The furor about wearable technologies, particularly smart watches and smart glasses is unsurprising," said Josh Flood, senior analyst at ABI Research.
Both technologies have great potential and some of the applications for these devices are rather inspiring. Apple's curved glass-based watch could prove to be a revelation in the wearable technologies market.
ABI believes that the key question is whether the digital time piece will act as a complimentary device to the Apple's iPhone or as a standalone product with other functionality -- such as health or activity tracking capabilities.
Additionally, smart watches offer extra usages for an item most people already own and commonly purchase. Granted, it may become universally expected for watches to include this type of functionality -- as feature in the future.
Furthermore, the capabilities of smart watches could lead to the device being used as a wearable remote for home automation systems. As an example, quick shake of your wrist to turn off/on room lights might be a very convenient use case for some consumers with physical disabilities.