WearableTech LA has officially come and gone, but boy did we learn a ton! Just as we suspected, this industry is definitely projected to blossom aggressively over the next few years. By 2018, it is estimated that at least 122 million wearable devices will be sold worldwide. One of the main issues hindering growth currently is the fact that only a small margin of the market is actually interested or can afford wearable technology products. This fact, however, has only slightly hindered this train, simply because as with every new technology, it takes a little time to catch on the mass-market level. As time ticks by, more and more products will continually pour into the space, and price will inherently go down as knowledge rises.
One thing is certain: wearable technology has profound implications on the future of healthcare. There is a new wave of inventions on the horizon that utilize the data captured noninvasively through sweat glands that can provide us with valuable health indicators, such as muscular exertion, fatigue, hydration levels, and electrolyte balance. The benefits of technology like this to the competitive, athletic population are enormous.
Another sure certainty is that fashion and industrial design will play a huge role in making wearables visually attractive, especially to the mass consumer. The sheer look of these technologies is extremely important in the context of mass adoption. Companies that focus on designing fashionable form to house and accessorize this technology stand to gain a great deal of wealth. Consumers want to wear their technology, not have it wear them. Adding a fashionable design opens doors for customization, and ultimately, freedom of expression. No one wants to look like a robot, and unfortunately, that’s the fear that technology companies simply cannot address without the addition of fashionable design. This is one of the keys to mass-market acceptance and implementation.
Glass technology comes to mind when thinking about which wearable sector could greatly benefit from fashion partners. Smart glass wear is turning out to be very up in the air right now. Here’s the situation: glass products are very expensive—so much in fact that they cost around the same price as a brand new, high-end laptop. The problem is, the app capabilities of smart glass wear are in such a beginning stage that they are extremely limited. For most people, it’s not worth the price. They’d much rather just get a new laptop. Combining this technology with a major retail eyewear brand would do wonders for its acceptance just for looking cool, and in the meantime, glass companies continue to develop more applications. It’s just so new and so unknown right now…
Lastly, while the theme of the conference focused on entertainment, health and sports, we see wearables having a lasting and important impact on education in the realm of youth insight. Wearable gear, such as smart glasswear and smart uniforms, may provide educators with deeper insight into how youth see their world and how this further impacts their health and emotional states. We envision how wearable technologies can be focused on enhancing the learning capabilities of children and are even currently working on such a wearable in-house, LOLA.
As a result, our next conference planned for January 2015 will focus more on innovation in the space of youth, education and overall online and mobile mediums. Thank you for your interest in what we experience. We look forward to seeing you in January! Please share with us your thoughts and suggestions for our next exciting event.