By: Kasey Stanton 07 January 2015
It didn’t take more than a few minutes on the show floor at the 2014 International CES to realize that wearables were branching out far beyond wrist-wear. Over the past few years, wearables have become the perfect vehicles to capture data on our everyday actions and turn that into info we can use to improve our personal health and fitness.
At the end of 2013, CEA research estimated that more than 40 million personal health and wellness products would sell in 2013 and that that figure would rise to more than 70 million by 2018. Although that trend continues to grow, over the course of this past year we also witnessed the application of wearables expand beyond the confines of the fitness category.
The adaptation of these sensors created the potential to use wearables not just as data collectors, but as companions. If you can track your steps and heart rate, why can’t you track eye movement? Or in the case of iPal, the lack of eye movement, thus preventing drivers whose eyelids start to get heavy from falling asleep at the wheel. How about if a wearable that can track facial expressions, allowing individuals with disabilities or devastating diseases to live life more independently? In 2014, we began to see these products not just as accessories but as life-changing devices.
That being said, the evolution of wearables by no means indicates the decline of the ever-dependable smartwatch. With the much-anticipated unveiling of the Apple Watch in September and the continuing improvement of fit bands from a variety of companies, there continues to be a very high demand for real estate on the wrist.
One of the most exciting aspects of CES, in my personal opinion, is witnessing the technology behind a fun, futuristic gadget transform into a potentially life-saving product. When a trend grows so quickly and with so much success, you know there is a greater potential to be uncovered. After 2014, we may have only just skimmed the surface of what’s possible for wearables.
Are you attending #CES2015? Come visit the Wearables Marketplace, presented by Living in Digital Times at the Sands.