Makers of wearable technologies are expected to sell 10 million units of smart glasses, fitness bands and watches globally in 2014, and generate about $3 billion in revenues, according to Deloitte.
The advisory company says a number of trends will spur the take-up of wearable technologies, including the ageing of many countries’ populations, widening cellular connectivity and the introduction of telemedicine.
It also believes wearables could ultimately become a new communications system providing larger images to those with poor sight or speech messages for individuals with failing hearing.
The combination of sensor, actuator and communicator could prove attractive to patients, doctors and insurance companies alike, says Deloitte.
“Deloitte predicts that smart glasses, fitness bands and watches will sell about 10 million units in 2014, generating $3 billion,” said Chris Williams, lead technology partner at Deloitte. “Of those, smart glasses should generate most revenues, with sales of about four million units and an average selling price of $500. Smart fitness bands should sell four million units with an average selling price of $140; and smart watches should sell about two million units at $200.”
In other predictions about the technology market in 2014, Deloitte forecasts that the installed base of compact tablets – defined as devices with a screen of 8.5 inches or less – will surpass the base of classic tablets – measuring at least nine inches – for the first time.
“Tablets are getting smaller and by the end of March 2014 about 165 million compact tablets will be in use worldwide, compared to 160 million classic tablets,” said Ed Shedd, head of Deloitte’s UK technology, media and telecommunications practice. “The widening array of tablet size and price factors may also encourage people to own more than one tablet.”
Deloitte reckons global sales of smartphones, tablets, PCs, TVs and videogame consoles will exceed $750 billion this year, up $50 billion on 2013 and more than double sales in 2007.