Although Google Glass has been going through the explorer program for almost a year come summer, it’s still in its infancy and has a ways to go before it might be ready for mainstream consumer use. Smartwatches, although more widely available to anyone willing to throw out the cash with no invite needed, are still not quite as popular as manufacturers want them to be. That could all change in the coming months with the introduction of Android Wear and the smartwatches to follow as part of that program, but its safe to say that for most, smartwatches just haven’t been captivating enough to capture the number of consumers today that own smartphones for the smartwatches to link up to. It’s going to be an exciting year for wearable technology, but there is still plenty of room for growth and improvement. Wearable tech devices may not be as popular now, but by the year 2016 a company called IHS iSuppli is predicting that consumers will be buying 92.5 million wearable device per year. That sounds like a big number, but there are arguably many more people that have the potential to be buying these devices to use with smartphones.
Some people think that wearable tech just hasn’t been fashionable enough for the average user to care about its existence. This is the opinion of Sonny Vu, the Chief Executive and the Founder of a company called Misfit Ventures, who is developing its own piece of wearable tech called the Shine Tracker which is being showcased at The Wearable Technology Show this week in London. He says that for wearable tech to be successful they have to be one of two things. They have to be beautiful, or they have to be virtually invisible to the point that people wouldn’t notice anything out of the ordinary if worn on the body. To put the need for wearable tech into perspective from a consumers point of view, he says that right now, wearable devices today don’t pass what he calls the turn around test, which is asking yourself if you would need to go back to retrieve a wearable device if forgotten at home. Just about everyone of us would probably go back for our smartphones, but how many of us would go back for something like a fitbit flex or even the Gear Fit if it was already released? Vu admits that he would go back for his glasses and smartphone, but not for a fitness tracker. The point is, wearables are being looked at as something that isn’t a necessity but more of a perk, at least according to Vu. This will undoubtedly start to shift as more and more devices come out and reach out to all different groups of people with different tastes and goals.