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December 19, 2014updated 22 Sep 2016 11:42am

Top 6 wearable predictions for 2015

With Apple Watch on the horizon, CBR looks at what the experts have to say about wearables in 2015.

By Ellie Burns

Father Christmas may very well bring you a wearable device this Christmas, but will wearables live up to the hype that has surrounded them in 2014? With Apple Watch on the horizon, CBR looks at what the experts have to say about wearables in 2015.

1. Who wears a watch these days?

Jeremy Burton, President, Products and Marketing at EMC commented: "Apple fanatics worldwide expect wearables will go mainstream following the emergence of iWatch, but I’m not so sure. Let’s face it, nobody under 35 wears a watch anymore – they rely on their smartphones for everything."

"A lot of wearables will fail … with the guys wearing their Bluetooth ear piece all day propping up the market. Now, that said, not all wearable technology will end in abject failure. Standalone, niche wearables that shake up industries for the better – such as FitBits or Jawbones that monitor vitals or health activity – will continue to flourish and be incorporated into sports clothing, shoes and equipment."

2. From 2014 hype, to 2015 mainstream adoption?

Graham Thomas, Solution Technologist at Lenovo commented: "For wearables to become mainstream they will need to be standalone devices in their own right, and not part of a costly ecosystem. You could say that 2015 will be the year wearables evolve beyond the hype of 2014."

While Andrew Lawson, UK & Ireland MD, Salesforce predicted: "In 2014, we saw the high-profile launches of the iWatch and Puls, and Google Glass went to work in industries, such as manufacturing, for the first time.

"At the same time, new platforms for developers to create apps that enable end-users to reap the rewards of wearables emerged, making the devices viable business tools aimed at delivering enhanced customer service and increased productivity. The stage is now set for wearables to become one of the hottest business trends of 2015, improving employee productivity and fundamentally changing the way organisations work."

2. Working for the common good

F5 Networks predict: "Society will benefit from data in the aggregate, with medical researchers and government institutions able to identify broader trends in how physical activity, diet, vital signs and other data points link to health conditions and socioeconomic factors, and respond accordingly."

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"For example, wearable devices have the potential to monitor lifestyle to a degree that might enable healthcare professionals to head-off medical conditions before they can become serious. They may even become a factor in health or life insurance policies, enabling insurers to offer varying discounts to individuals that live healthier lifestyles, and monitor compliance."

"Governments too may tie personal devices into public healthcare programmes and government schemes to encourage healthier living."

3. First footing in the enterprise

Yorgen Edholm, CEO of Accellion said: "In 2015 wearables will find their first footing in the enterprise, which will alter the way companies look at BYOD device policies and solutions. Businesses need to expect and prepare for this shift from a data security standpoint."

"Look at Google Glass, its most compelling use case is in industries where hands-free computing is a matter of life and death – surgeons, field workers who are fixing machinery. Wearable technology applications in the enterprise will grow exponentially once wearables are introduced."

Gareth Tolerton, CTO at TotalMobile agreed, saying that wearables "will start to find niche use in the enterprise as unit prices fall and wearables become commonplace in mobile contracts."

4. CIOs & CSOs: Know & understand the risks

Kevin Linsell, head of service development at Adapt told CBR: "The current products from Pebble, Samsung, Sony etc. will continue to evolve and compete, but the Apple product is likely to bring this mainstream. From a CIO perspective this will have impact from an internal security perspective as another form of BYOD."

Quentyn Taylor, Director of Information Security at Canon Europe commented: "As we enter 2015, evolving insider threats will increasingly move to the forefront of enterprise consciousness. Insider threats are not necessarily the result of rogue employees driven by malicious intent."

"Any employee with a device that stores information, whether it’s the latest wearable device or a mobile phone, can be at risk of inadvertently compromising data security. Consider, for example, Google Glass and its potential to capture and leak sensitive information by employees. If confidential business data is being recorded at a mere glance, regardless of whether there is the intent for misuse, this raises clear issues that businesses increasingly need to address."

"Things get even more complicated when you consider wearable technology that can’t be removed – such as wireless pacemakers or cochlear implants. For businesses with strict security policies, the new wave of wearable technology may force them to rewrite the rulebook in order to make allowances while still protecting their systems from insider breaches."

"CSOs will have to ensure policies are tightened and the workforce is educated to effectively safeguard data in situations where wearables present a data breach threat. So while the future is increasingly connected, an enabler for most businesses, it will throw up new challenges."

5. Wearables to drive the connected home

Jon Carter, UK Head of Business Development – Connected Home at Deutsche Telekom predicts: "Wearable tech is huge right now but, towards the end of 2015, we will be seeing the first real examples of wearables interconnecting with smart home devices, to enable users to personalise their home – so music follows them into every room they enter or lights turn on based on the homeowner’s preferences."

6. Wearables will be big in emerging markets

Upstream CEO Marco Veremis told CBR: "To date, manufacturers have targeted Western consumer with wearables because of the high cost of the device and the active tech early adopter crowd. However we believe emerging markets are the perfect market for wearables."

"46% of consumers value function over all other considerations when making a purchase, so the industrial design of wearables is less of an issue, and Xiaomi proved there is a hunger for wearable technology by selling over 1 million Mi fitness bands since mid August."

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