Wearables to Generate $53bn in Hardware Revenues by 2019

Tim Maytom

Google Glass  Alex testsThe global retail revenue from smart wearable devices is ready to explode, trebling by 2016 and reaching $53.2bn (£33bn) by 2019.

Smart watches and smart glasses will be the primary drivers for the wearables market, with the expected launch of Apple's 'iWatch' predicted to cement the fledgling new sector as a large consumer market.

The figures, reported by Juniper Research, come with a warning, however, noting that vendors need to get over their 'technology first' attitude and think more in terms of consumer benefits in order to truly drive increased product adoption.

Consumers are still unsure about the practical uses for many wearable devices, including watches and glasses, beyond fitness and health applications. In particular, consumers are hesitant to adopt wearables where the functions are very similar to existing smartphone features.

Despite this hesitancy, the research predicts that smart watches will replace fitness wearables as the most purchases wearable device by 2017. Wearables are likely to remain companion devices for the forseeable future, with many tied to specific operating systems in order to differentiate offerings.