Wearables are in. And companies are running after it. And while all of this is happening, latest growth forecasts from International Data Corporation(IDC) for wearables, reflect that wearables are in to be sold in massive numbers in coming years.

The market researcher indicates that over 72 million wearable devices will be shipped in 2015, which is up 173% as compared to the 26.4 million devices shipped in 2014. And this isn’t it. IDC has further predicted that this positive growth story will witness 156 million unit sales by 2019 itself.

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Currently, there are two kinds of wearables manufactured by companies such as Apple and Pebble: basic wearables and smart wearables. Basic wearables, as the name suggests, are gadgets that do not run third-party apps and mostly deal with fitness tracking. And then there are smart wearables which are expected to soon takeover full-blown gadgets with a much greater functionality.

The latter’s range includes smartwatches, fitness bands and smart eyewear. However, IDC has not broken down the estimates by specific devices, so we will not know how much of the numbers are steered by Apple Watch or even Android Wear, for that matter.

Jitesh Ubrani, a senior research analyst at Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers says,

The demand for basic wearables, those that do not run third party apps, has been absolutely astounding,” said  “Vendors like Fitbit and Xiaomi have helped propel the market with their sub-$100 bands, and IDC expects this momentum will continue throughout 2015.

“We expect smart wearables, those capable of running third party apps, to take the lead in 2016,” added Ubrani.

Smart wearables like the Apple Watch and Micosoft’s Hololens are indicative of an upcoming change in computing, and the transition from basic to smart wearables opens up a slew of opportunities for vendors, app developers, and accessory makers.

Wearable tech got a slow start with regard to sales, but major OEMs likeApple and Google pushing into this space has ensured that it garners enough public attention. Chinese OEMs like Xiaomi and Huawei have further fuelled the diversity in the wearables product range.We have also witnessed lower prices for smartwear, a prominent example of which is the Xiaomi Mi Band, which costs just Rs. 999 and does everything to help you stay fit. The wearables ecosystem too is destined for a similar growth pattern, with Apple Watch already providing close to 3,500 apps on it’s platform.

IDC research manager Ramon Llamas said in a statement,

Growth in the smart wearables market points to an emerging battleground among competing platforms. Android Wear, Samsung’s Tizen and Apple’sWatchOS are moving ahead with improved user interfaces, user experiences and applications. These will raise the expectations of what a smart wearable can do, and each platform is vying for best-in-class status. We’re not there yet, but we’re seeing the building blocks of what is to come.

The wearables technology market is all set for an interesting future. Thanks to huge and well-directed investments by technology giants, both software and hardware will be continually evolve to meet competition standards. Moreover, with companies like Oculus, Sony and Microsoft bringing Virtual reality to wearables, this tech is seeing massive interest from both consumers and companies alike.


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