The worldwide wearable computing market – the “wearables” business, as it’s widely known – is finally expanding beyond early adopter status to more functional and stylish lifestyle accessories that are making their way onto the pages of GQ and Shape as well as Computerworld and Wired.
That’s the latest assessment published over the weekend by International Data Corporation (IDC). According to the IDC, wearables took a huge step forward over the past year and shipment volumes will exceed 19 million units in 2014, more than tripling last year’s sales.
From there, the global market will swell to 111.9 million units in 2018, resulting in a CAGR of 78.4%, the data projects.
IDC says that “complex accessories” like the Nike+ FuelBand, Jawbone UP, and Fitbit devices will lead the wearables market through 2018 as users continue to embrace their simplicity and low price points. These devices are designed to operate partially independent of any other device, but fully operate when connected with IP-capable devices such as a smartphone, tablet, or a PC.
“Complex accessories have succeeded in drawing much-needed interest and attention to a wearables market that has had some difficulty gaining traction,” explains Ramon Llamas of IDC. “The increased buzz has prompted more vendors to announce their intentions to enter this market. Most importantly, end-users have warmed to their simplicity in terms of design and functionality, making their value easy to understand and use.”