Don't Ignore Wearables: While the Tech Comes First, the Interaction Will Only Grow

Don't Ignore Wearables While the Tech Comes First, the Interaction Will Only GrowWhat got the most buzz at electronics shows in 2014? As you might have guessed, wearable devices beat even smartphones and tablets, suggesting that this tech sector is just getting rolling.

It also, according to a recent eMarketer report, “is signaling another advance in consumer electronics is under way: The technology around us is becoming part of who we are physically.”

Brands that make use of these devices, we’re told, are destined to succeed.

“Wearable device shipments are expected to grow by triple-digit percentages this year; International Data Corporation projected the number of wearable device units shipped worldwide in 2014 would total 19.2 billion units—a more than 200 percent increase,” according to the report. “Yet enthusiasm is tempered by two factors. First, significant growth is not surprising in a new tech category, especially one that encompasses a large swath of device types. Essentially, there is a wearable for every major body part. Second, the “magic” product—one that attracts a majority of consumers—has yet to come to market.”

eMarketer analysts are thinking that perhaps the Apple Watch will be the “it” product when it launches in 2015.

However, penetration among U.S. consumers is low across all subcategories of wearables.

But don’t count them out, warns eMarketer.

“Ignoring wearables is a mistake, however,” says the report. “The early-adopter set is gravitating toward these devices, signaling the U.S. market is ripe for the next tech innovation. And forward-looking businesses are already active in the space.”

“Interaction on these devices will not be through two-thumb typing,” said Atul Satija, vice president of global revenue and operations at mobile advertising network InMobi. “Interaction has to be a single-finger touch that is more of a ‘yes/no’ command.”

Ultimately, the import of any message sent to a wearable should “give just enough information for the user to make a decision whether or not they want to take that next action—getting out their phone,” said Kira Wampler, CMO of real estate search site Trulia.

Bottom line? The smart guys in the room know that wearables are getting the buzz. And that the consumer buys will inevitably follow.