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Wearable Tech Stocks 2015: Expect a lot of major developments in wearable technology this year as the big tech companies fight for turf in this rapidly growing market.
BI Intelligence estimates that sales of wearable tech devices will rise from about 33 million units shipped this year to over 50 million in 2015. From there, BI says the wearable tech market will nearly triple by 2019, to 148 million units.
But getting there will come in fits and starts. Much experimentation will mark the 2015 wearable tech market as companies try to figure out what customers will wear – and buy.
Worse, those who wore the device in public were often harassed by people afraid it could be used to secretly record them.
Likewise, most of the smartwatches so far have flopped. Customers were unimpressed by bulky devices with poor battery life that offered hardly any benefit over smartphone capabilities.
But companies are determined to succeed as there is much money to be made. Juniper Research has forecast that sales will reach $19 billion by 2018.
Most of the first wave of wearable technology has failed because the devices didn't solve any unmet need, or create a better way to deal with all the data that swamps us every day.
That will start to change in 2015…
Wearable Tech Forecast 2015: How Companies Can Succeed
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP put out a report in October with several great tips for how to succeed in the wearable tech business. It's a blueprint for success in the wearable market.
PwC asked 1,000 consumers not just what they thought of wearable tech, but what they want it to do for them.
What they found is that people want wearable technology to do more than just provide more data. They want devices that make it useful.
"[Consumers] want wearable devices that not only turn data into insights, but also help them turn insights into decisions and actions," the PwC report said. "This is the opportunity for wearable tech makers, and for enterprise. If they learn to equip consumers with the right information at the right time, yielding actionable insights that can be integrated into experiences and become part of the solution, they can radically alter – and improve – the landscape of business, entertainment, health, and more."
Business is a huge opportunity.
In retail, for example, a wearable device for employees could negate the need for checkout lines as well as improve customer service. In fields like manufacturing and medicine, wearable devices could serve as specialized tools to streamline procedures and provide ready access to data.
The companies that best address these needs will win – and reward their investors.