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Smart Wearable Device Market will Reach $19B by 2018

Wearable devices have been in existence for a number of decades, but it is only recently that they have captured the imagination of the public. Findings from the latest global market study by Juniper Research has revealed that wearable Smart Glasses shipments will reach 10 million per year by 2018 -- that's compared to an estimated 87,000 units this year.

Juniper notes that as the retail price for Smart Glasses declines toward the end of the forecast period, the adoption level of the devices among consumers will significantly increase.

The Path to Achieve Critical Mass

Juniper argues that in order for wearable devices -- such as smart glasses -- to reach their full potential in the marketplace, they need to be much more than complementary devices or secondary screens.

"These devices would need to incorporate intuitive and user-friendly functionality and capture the imagination of the general public making the technology seamless within their daily routine," said Nitin Bhas, senior analyst at Juniper Research.


While the industry acknowledges the future for wearable computing, it is however divided on the form factor for such devices. While some consider smart watches to be more socially and naturally accepted, others promote the potential use cases for smart glasses.

However, a number of important hurdles -- such as user privacy policies -- exist for smart wearable devices to overcome in order to achieve mass market acceptance.

Leading Applications and Use Case Scenarios

Juniper found that shipments of smart glasses will be driven primarily by the consumer sector, followed by the enterprise and healthcare sectors.

First generation applications such as video documentation and communication will be initially used in the healthcare sector, but the true potential of smart glasses will begin to be realized when diagnostic reference, surgical assistance and monitoring can be applied.

Long term growth will be achievable but regulatory approval and field trials will potentially impact timescales.

In the enterprise sector, a number of use cases for smart glasses exists, ranging from engineering to logistics applications. App developers are currently figuring out custom enterprise use cases for developing apps for smart glasses.

However, the largest opportunity will be in the consumer sector with the rate of adoption largely dependent on the market availability of attractive hardware and useful software apps.

Other key findings from the market study include:
  • App-enabled mobile smart wearable device hardware market will approach $19 billion by 2018.
  • The market will be dominated by the most developed regions in North America, Far East, China and Western Europe.

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