Juniper Research joins chorus on exploding wearable device market

Research firm predicts that 130 million wearable devices will ship by 2018

Juniper Research became the latest research firm to forecast an exploding wearable devices market, predicting that 130 million devices will ship by 2018, ten times higher than estimated this year.

The research firm says its prediction reflects the latest vendor announcements, increased consumer awareness of wearable devices and the emergence of major players in the wearable technology space.

"Even though wearables are relatively new in terms of market maturity, it is clear that the market, for example the smart watch in particular, will be--as per smartphones--a somewhat crowded affair," says Juniper analyst and report author Nitin Bhas.

At the same time, there are social and legal barriers to adoption, says Juniper. Issues such as privacy arise if the wearable device has a camera and gives the appearance of filming at all times. In the case of mobile health wearables, the storage of confidential and personal health information by these devices could face regulatory hurdles.

The latest Juniper prediction is in line with recent projections made by Strategy Analytics. That firm has forecast wearable device sales to reach 125 million units by 2017.

Fueling demand for wearable devices will be the increased development of apps for these devices. More than one-quarter of 1,700 app developers that were surveyed by Strategy Analytics plan to develop apps for wearable devices next year.

For more:
- see the Juniper release

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