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Technology / Hardware

How can wearables become a profitable market?

The UK market is slowly embracing wearable technology, but full-scale adoption is still a mirage.

Consumers are silently waiting for a device that ticks different boxes including comfort, performance and above all, battery life. Hence Asus’ announcement of a smartwatch with a ten day battery life time trending on social media for weeks.

Most wearables today have an energy supply that will power the device from around nine to 48 hours, making consumers reluctant about buying, for instance, a smartwatch that needs to be charged everyday (on top of their smartphone).

According to the YouGov, however, wearable device penetration will more than double in 2015 from 6% last year to 13%. By Christmas, 6.1 million people are expected to own a wearable device in the UK alone.

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Russell Feldman, Director of Digital, Media and Technology at YouGov said: "Wearable devices have been talked about as "the next big thing" in tech for a while now.

"Our figures suggest that 2015 is the time when the devices finally start to gain traction amongst a wider consumer audience.

"Crucial to this is the shift in the balance of the category from fitness bands to smart watches over the coming months. The Christmas period will mark the moment category finally moves the niche to the mainstream."

Finally a breakthrough

Even though wearables are yet to seriously impact the consumer market, developers are already looking at the next stage of design.

Invisible wearables, or disappearables, are set to fuel the growth of this technology.

Forecasters predict that by 2020 the wearable technology market as a whole will be worth $80 billion worldwide.

However, Juniper Research warns that this value is only achievable by making the connected gadgets virtually indistinguishable from their disconnected peers.

Smart skin technology, like the one developed by MC10 with its solution Biostamp, are likely to be the next big thing for portable smart technology.

The Biostamp is a small seamless layer, the size and thickness of a stamp, that connects to the users phone and regularly monitors its health and shares it with doctors.

The company said that monitoring devices enable doctors to treat or alert patients remotely, and allow family members to check on each other.
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