Gartner to wearables biz: Through failure comes success!

Crystal-ball gazer claims market will treble in size in next three years


Hope springs eternal for wearables, despite the gizmos losing billions of dollars over the past five years. And few forecasts can be more hopeful than Gartner's prediction that the market will treble in size over the next three years.

Gartner places its faith in two things. One in "hearables," earpieces with added functionality, such as Google's Pixel Buds that perform language translation, hearing aids that monitor your health, or pretty much anything with sufficient local processing to power an AI assistant.

And Smart Clothing, a perpetual Next Big Thing also predicted to make an impact on the market. A year ago, CCS Insight confidently told us:

"In 2018, smart sports shoes sell 1 million pairs to become the first mass-market smart clothing. Premium sports brands include sensors in their high-end footwear ranges that measure wearers' activity and performance. Sales rapidly increase to reach 5 million pairs in 2020."

Google has an initiative unfortunately titled Project Jacquard which it touts as "the first full scale digital platform created for smart clothing". Despite signing a partnership with Levi, this space seems quiet. But perhaps we're missing something. Do you know anyone with Smart Clothing? Are you the an owner of a pair of $300 Bluetooth-enabled yoga pants? If so, write and tell us.

The smartwatch market has really boiled down to three segments: one is Apple, one is Samsung – both now firmly activity-focused – and the third is activity trackers from respectable brands like Fitbit and Garmin that have been packed into something watch-shaped. Huawei's recent £179 devicebuilt using its lightweight IoT open source LiteOS – falls into this category, looking like a smartwatch but offering 14 days of continuous health monitoring on one charge.

Gartner wearables market prediction

Click to breakout the figures

Gartner's predictions are beginning to be enjoyed by readers for all the wrong reasons. In 2014 Gartner foresaw, through its subsidiary outfit L2, that 50 per cent of all human-computer interaction would take place via wearables – a claim repeated by former Intel CEO Brian Krzanich (who he? – Ed).

And you particularly seem to enjoy hypes that disappear: machine learning, edge computing and knowledge graphs all vanished in August. We'll have to wait and see whether "smart-athleisureware" ever crawls onto Gartner's Doom Cycle, before falling off again.

For what it's worth, Gartner has predicted the wearables market will swell to 178 million units in 2018, up 27 per cent year-on-year, and reach 225 million by 2019 and 453 million by 2022. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading
  • Conti: Russian-backed rulers of Costa Rican hacktocracy?
    Also, Chinese IT admin jailed for deleting database, and the NSA promises no more backdoors

    In brief The notorious Russian-aligned Conti ransomware gang has upped the ante in its attack against Costa Rica, threatening to overthrow the government if it doesn't pay a $20 million ransom. 

    Costa Rican president Rodrigo Chaves said that the country is effectively at war with the gang, who in April infiltrated the government's computer systems, gaining a foothold in 27 agencies at various government levels. The US State Department has offered a $15 million reward leading to the capture of Conti's leaders, who it said have made more than $150 million from 1,000+ victims.

    Conti claimed this week that it has insiders in the Costa Rican government, the AP reported, warning that "We are determined to overthrow the government by means of a cyber attack, we have already shown you all the strength and power, you have introduced an emergency." 

    Continue reading
  • China-linked Twisted Panda caught spying on Russian defense R&D
    Because Beijing isn't above covert ops to accomplish its five-year goals

    Chinese cyberspies targeted two Russian defense institutes and possibly another research facility in Belarus, according to Check Point Research.

    The new campaign, dubbed Twisted Panda, is part of a larger, state-sponsored espionage operation that has been ongoing for several months, if not nearly a year, according to the security shop.

    In a technical analysis, the researchers detail the various malicious stages and payloads of the campaign that used sanctions-related phishing emails to attack Russian entities, which are part of the state-owned defense conglomerate Rostec Corporation.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022