Wearable Tech: More Than Just Google Glass [Infographic]

By Alex Brokaw,

Shutterstock photo

Last week, the market research firm MarketsandMarkets released a report that projected global shipments of wearable electronic devices -- otherwise known simply as "wearables" -- will grow at a compounded annual rate of 30.4% between 2012 and 2017. By 2018, 134.3 million units will ship worldwide, with expected revenues of $8.36 billion.

This changing tide in how we consume technology has not gone unnoticed. Already, wearables are being regarded as the future of how we'll engage with the digital other-world created over the past 30-plus years. During a a recent roundtable , international service design consultancy Fjord broke down the potential causes for this shift, identifying the waning novelty of the smartphone as the chief reason wearables are now gaining so much momentum. Smartphones have been on the market for 13 years, enough time to make it the norm for consumers to have constant interaction with high-end, connected technology, but too long for people not to expect the next big product trend. Smartphones have also helped elevate digital tech to the lifestyle product category, thanks in part to the close attention paid to aesthetics by innovators in the space. Finally, ever-increasing computing power has played a big role in the move toward wearables, too. These days advanced algorithms are capable of mining a wealth of data generated by small, accessory-based sensors. It's access to that information, Fjord's experts concluded, that makes wearables so irresistible.

With this in mind, we here at Minyanville decided to put together a picture of what a future filled with wearables might look like. While we doubt you'll ever find anyone decked out quite like this, the following infographic gives a sense of where wearable tech is headed.

Our caveat: Keep in mind that our list is by no means exhaustive. We haven't included smart bras, crowdfunded HUD swimming goggles, and spray-on health monitors, to name a few. Be sure to tweet us @Minyanville or @brokawbrokaw with other wearable tech we've missed.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing Technology
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