Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2015: The Year Wearable Tech Goes Mainstream?

Sure, early adopters are sporting FitBit wristbands and other high-tech activity tracker products. This is the most common form of wearable technology in the category--and it's the prototypical product, meaning that when you think of wearable tech, you think of a wristband activity tracker. (Just like when you think of a digital music player, the iPod is usually the first product that comes to mind.)

Athletes are lining up for wearable tech, of course, because it helps them capture data with ease, track performance over time, and support improvement plans. What about the rest of us?

CNet has a summary page with coverage of wearable tech from this week's Consumer Electronics Show. And wristbands/wrist watches are front and center, including the Guess Connect, shown above, which (through partner Martian) gives you easy wrist access to your smart phone plus classic timepiece styling.

Styling is, in fact, a key element in wearable tech. Nobody wants to wear bulky or clunky devices. Not cool, not comfortable. Wired has a good writeup called "This is the year wearables will stop being so ugly." And once the ugly factor is out of the equation, wearable tech will be ready for its mainstream debut--assuming that prices continue to moderate.

Of course, the much-anticipated Apple Watch could upend the category. That's what happened when the iPod entered the digital music category, and when the iPhone entered the smartphone category. Then Apple pioneered the tablet category.

Will this be the year wearable tech goes mainstream? Looking good.

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