Why the market for wearable devices won’t live up to the hype in 2014


We’re still a few days away from the opening of CES, but the hype surrounding the wearable device market is already deafening. CNET is touting augmented reality contact lenses, The Verge is reporting on sleep-tracking fitness bands, Engadget is telling us about socks that monitor how we move and Pebble is teaming up with Mercedes to bring us connected cars. Just to name a few.

These kinds of devices have an undeniable, Jetsons-like mystique about them, which is a big reason we’ll hear so much about them over the next week. But I don’t think any of them will catch fire this year — not only are they largely niche devices that will appeal only to certain segments, the prices for most of these things are too high for mass adoption. Wearable devices are sure to change the way we work, play and interact with each other in the long term. For at least the next year or two, though, growth will be slow.

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