A new Juniper Research report predicts big gains for the nascent wearable devices market in the coming years. From $1.4 billion in revenue this year, the research firm projects that sales of wearable technology like smart watches and glasses will jump to $19 billion by 2018.
Given the less-than-stellar reviews for Samsung’s Galaxy Gear watch last month and uncertain demand for the high-priced items in this category, the Juniper forecast looks a bit optimistic. But the firm expects that high price points, combined with strong demand, will lead to sharp growth in the next five years.
Changes in the wearable devices market over time, including improvements in app performance and increasing use of embedded connectivity, are also expected to lift sales. The Juniper report further projects that manufacturers will be able to earn subscription revenues in certain sectors, pointing to companies like Fitbit and FiLIP.
FiLIP, for instance, is an app-based watch for children that combines GPS, WiFi and cellular technologies to keep parents and kids connected via two-way voice calling, messaging and location-tracking. Its model is expected to include a monthly service plan.
For its part, Sony on Tuesday announced its second smart watch, ingeniously called “SmartWatch2,” is now available in the U.S. for $199.95 from its online store.