Wearable technology to boom in 2014: Deutsche Telekom

The market for personal tracking devices and wearable technology is set to boom in 2014, as M2M players shift their focus from the business market to the consumer one.

That is one of the headline predictions from German telecoms giant Deutsche Telekom (Bonn) about the way the M2M industry will develop next year.

According to Jurgen Hase, the head of Deutsche Telekom’s M2M competence center, the market for devices like data glasses, smart watches and health and fitness monitors will begin to take off in 2014, with the next generation of small and affordable tracking solutions entering the market thanks to the falling prices of track and trace modules.

Another growth area will be the automotive sector, with applications like predictive maintenance, entertainment services and remote monitoring driving the market for connected cars.

Because automobile makers need a few years to implement the technology in series, Deutsche Telekom also expects there to be a huge opportunity for the “automotive aftermarket” in 2014.

“In 2014, more M2M solutions for car dealers will enter the market which will offer value-added services to their customers and are independent of car manufacturers,” says the operator.

Deutsche Telekom also believes there will be significant progress in the area of smart cities in 2014, including services like parking management and remote control of street lights, with rising populations and declining budgets inducing cities to deploy connected ICT solutions.

“In 2014, lighthouse projects for smarter cities are likely to appear, which give us a foretaste of what is to come in the next decades.”

Big data analytics, a technology that has been garnering increasing attention over the course of 2013, will start to generate new M2M services by combining machine data with information from the internet, such as weather reports or posts from social media and collaboration platforms, according to Hase.

Next year will also see the emergence of what Deutsche Telekom calls the “smart factory” – “ruled by totally new modes of production”.

The operator says the smart factory will be able to take individual customer requirements into consideration and model both business and engineering processes dynamically, adapting to changing demands more efficiently than ever.