Where, Oh Where, Are Wearables Headed?

Where, Oh Where, Are Wearables HeadedThe worldwide wearable computing market – the “wearables” business, as it’s widely known – is finally expanding beyond early adopter status to more functional and stylish lifestyle accessories that are making their way onto the pages of GQ and Shape as well as Computerworld and Wired.

So even though wearable devices are on the rise now, Forrester Vice President and Principal Analyst James McQuivey predicted this week that by 2016, their functionality will be absorbed by other devices, such as smartphones and sensor-laden headphones, another possible reason Apple acquired Beats.

“The digital era has witnessed the ascent and decline of a stunning number of new devices: the PDA, the digital camera, and the MP3 player have all risen to prominence only to collapse into specialty niches in a way that prior generations of technology did not,” the summary of a new report from Forrester reads. “Take the eReader for instance: Over 25 million people in the US owned eReaders in 2012 — just five years after Amazon released the original Kindle. Yet, its fall will be just as pronounced and rapid. According to data from Forrester’s World eReader And eBook Forecast, US users will drop to a mere 7 million users by year-end 2017.”

The new report in question illustrates how digital has disrupted device life cycles and fundamentally changed the rules of “rise and fall.” In it, McQuivey also predicts the rise and fall of home automation and control, virtual reality, augmented reality, 3D printing, and drones.

Forrester says the full report is available now for purchase.

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