Slowly (I have to say, slower than I thought) wearable technologies enter our daily lives. Maybe I've been fascinated by it since I was a child, when a watch with a calculator made me feel super technological, but I'm glad.
On balance, even though the concept has been around for 60 years, it was only 10 years ago that companies started thinking about the so-called "Internet of Things". And the first smartwatch is even younger: 7 years old, the age of the first Apple Watch. Those who use them find them useful: they monitor sleep, physical activity, some vital parameters and sometimes we talk to each other by raising our wrist, like Dick Tracy in the 30s comics.
A few more hitches, then full sails
In this year that is about to end, the consumer Internet of Things (IoT) (in its three extensions home automation, connected cars, wearable technologies) covers 27% of the global revenue of all IoT products. Among these three markets, wearable technologies are the one with the highest turnover and the fastest growth: next year it will reach a market of 42.4 billions of dollars.
In the first half of 2023, this market could be affected by the threat of a global recession, but from June, sales will start to rise again driven by new models and new functions. Which? The most disparate: from holographic images to asthma monitoring, maybe even of depression.
Wearable technologies, get ready for an avalanche
Today they are still relatively bulky, but AR / VR headsets are fully within the category of wearable technologies. In the coming years they will play an increasingly important role in the expected development of the metaverse.
In 2023, we will see the first major VR-based business training and collaboration projects. We will see the first companies equip themselves with viewers for activities such as employee onboarding or virtual events: it is certainly not a gamble to expect the growth of investments in this sector.
In summary, even if the global economic crisis does not make wearable technologies grow as they should, there will be growth.
More, there will be a maturation. There will be a variety of wearable technology products that use the IoT: smart jewelry, perhaps even the first intelligent plants (but I doubt they will be Neuralink).
Welcome if some of these could end up saving lives, improving our health or the relationship we have with our body.
Only one dark side, but a big one: privacy
A robust footnote to talk about the risks. The growth of wearable devices will bring huge new challenges in terms of protecting the privacy of personal data. These devices collect a gigantic amount of information about us: biometrics, location, email passwords, app activity. Even recorded conversations.
Add AR and VR and we'll have a crazy amount, kept in servers that are increasingly attractive to hacker attacks. This could jeopardize the commercial success of companies least able to guarantee customers' data security. And it will certainly lead, or better: it should lead to the creation of regulations to regulate the sector.
For this, investments in the protection of personal data will be fundamental for wearable technologies: security is the only possible, major obstacle that I see in their path.