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30% of wearables will be unobtrusive to the eye by 2017: Gartner


Gartner announced it has published a new report entitled “Predicts 2015: New Business Opportunities and Complexity on the Rise in Consumer Devices Market“, which predicts that 30 percent of smart wearables will be completely unobtrusive to the eye by 2017.

“Already, there are some interesting developments at the prototype stage that could pave the way for consumer wearables to blend seamlessly into their surroundings,” said Annette Zimmermann, research director at Gartner. “Smart contact lenses are one type in development. Another interesting wearable that is emerging is smart jewelry.

“There are around a dozen crowdfunded projects competing right now in this area, with sensors built into jewelry for communication alerts and emergency alarms. Obtrusive wearables already on the market, like smart glasses, are likely to develop new designs that disguise their technological components completely.”

In the report, Gartner makes several other predictions regarding the smart wearables market, including more than 25 million head-mounted displays (HMD) will have been sold by 2018 as the market for immersive devices and virtual gadgets will shift from fringe to the mainstream.

By 2018, there will be significant interest in HMD devices, which power virtual reality, augmented reality and other smartglass apps, resulting in the technology to be used in a range of consumer and business cases.

Meanwhile, other devices that are currently in development will result in a wave of HMD devices to hit the market by 2018.

The initial momentum for HMD technology will be hindered by certain obstacles, such as a lack of mature software services and privacy concerns.

By 2016, biometric sensors will be integrated into 40 percent of smartphones, as fingerprint scanning will be a main biometric feature that most vendors will introduce, considering the technology’s intuitive and unobtrusive usage.

Additionally, other biometrics such as facial, iris, voice and palm vein authentication will continue to be available despite being on a mostly niche level.

Wearables will also feature biometrics as coupling devices to smartphones, but will mostly be used as a means to collect biometric data to be transmitted to smartphones where the majority of intelligence and authentication will occur.

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