Google (GOOG) has its Google Glass Internet-connected glasses. Apple (AAPL) has its mythical iWatch in the works and Sony (SNE) and Samsung (SSNLF) are already out there with their SmartWatch and Galaxy Gear watch devices in its absence.
To hear some tell it, this is the way of the future, as iPhones and tablets give way to wearable tech.
Wireless analyst firm Berg Insight just released its Consumer Electronics and Wireless M2M research report, which tallies 8.3 million wearable technology devices sold in 2012. That includes “smart glasses, smart watches and wearable fitness trackers” among other things.
The growth is substantial in the space, too, up almost three-fold from 3.1 million devices in 2011.
And looking forward, Berg predicts a compound annual growth rate of over 50% — with expected device sales to top 64 million by 2017.
Berg is banking big on the Apple iWatch and Samsung Galaxy Gear leading the charge, too. ”By the end of the forecast period, smart watches are predicted to incorporate much of the functionality of these and will then be the largest wearable device segment,” according to the firm.
Here’s what Johan Svanberg, a Senior Analyst at Berg Insight, has to say in more detail:
“A perfect storm of innovation within low power wireless connectivity, sensor technology, big data, cloud services, voice user interfaces and mobile computing power is coming together and paves the way for connected wearable technology … however, today’s devices need to evolve into something more than single purpose fitness trackers or external smartphone notification centers in order to be truly successful.”
Google, Sony and Samsung have already launched products and Apple is sure to follow suit soon.
It will be interesting for investors to see whether these gadgets truly do catch on … and, of course, which tech stocks will cash in on the trend of wearable tech.
Related Reading on Wearable Technology
- Download the full report, “Consumer Electronics and Wireless M2M” (BergInsight.com)
- Check out a review of the Galaxy Gear smartwatch. (CNET)
- Apple iWatch could hit the market in 2014. (The Register)
- AAPL stock is focused on value these days. (The Slant)
Jeff Reeves is the editor of InvestorPlace.com and the author of The Frugal Investor’s Guide to Finding Great Stocks. Write him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter via @JeffReevesIP. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the stocks named here.