While the IEEE results paint a different picture, it is estimated that 90 million wearable gadgets, including smart-watches and fitness trackers, were sold in 2014. This figure is expected to reach 200 million in 2015 quite comfortably, particularly in light of Apple's recent release of its smart Watch. Building on the proliferation of smartphones, wearables appear to be the next logical step in mobile technology development, and the potential for it to become one of the most invasive technologies is substantial.
The growth of wearables looks promising in a number of areas. The devices have maintained popularity in the fitness market while their application for medical purposes and managing disability is being widely explored. Smartwatches have been tipped to lead the trend in wearable tech, with potential for the accessory to manage connected appliances and devices through a single application; this carries neatly across to another buzzword, the much-vaunted 'Internet of Things'.
Simply defined, IoT extends the 'smart' capabilities available on computers and smartphones to other electronics devices such as fridges, thus expanding the scope of capabilities within the kit and connectivity between numerous devices. Currently, most wearable tools need to connect to a smarter device, like a smartphone, in order to function, which suggests a reason why there has been a delay in their adoption. However, Dizmo's chief marketing officer Luigi Mantellassi considers, adoption of wearable technology will supersede smartphones as we develop into what he calls 'sensor stations'.
"We are already [sensor-stations] through the electronic devices we carry with us," he says. "If the ultimate implementation of IoT is to connect 99 percent of objects to the Internet, this will include what we wear too. The adoption of wearables will largely exceed computers and phones as we will take advantage of them for things such as safety, health and simplification of everyday tasks."
Dr Kevin Curran, senior lecturer in computer science at the University of Ulster, warns that if IoT is to infiltrate modern life, security and a system to manage huge data transfers should lead as major focus. "IoT will offer the ability for consumers to interact with almost every appliance and device they own," he says. "If IoT is campaigning to run nearly every aspect of our digital lives, considerations need to be made to ensure a seamless and safe introduction. Security, standards and overburdening the network are three requirements that need to be focused on before implementing for mass adoption in the modern business place.
"Any Internet of Things initiative will require a tailored data-processing strategy that balances current requirements, continuous growth, and future applications. That can only be done through very powerful processors that enable collaboration between devices, analytics platforms, customers and real-world systems. In other words, let everything speak to everything in the same language, and compile and analyse all conversations in real time."