ABI Research says over the last nine months a number of new smart watches have emerged that could change consumers’ perceptions. ABI forecasts more than 1.2 million smart watches will be shipped in 2013.
“The strong potential emergence of smart watches can be attributed to several reasons,” says senior analyst Joshua Flood. “Contributing factors include the high penetration of smartphones in many world markets, the wide availability and low cost of MEMS sensors, energy efficient connectivity technologies such as Bluetooth 4.0, and a flourishing app ecosystem.”
ABI splits wearable computing device into four categories: notification types, voice operational smart watches, hybrid smart watches, and completely independent smart watches. Notification type devices are the MetaWatch and Cookoo smart watches, for example, offering alerts for incoming calls, messages and other notifications. Voice operational smart watches enable users to conduct calls and speak some commands via the device such as Martian’s smart watch.
“Smart watches that replicate the functionality of a mobile handset or smartphone are not yet commercially feasible, though the technologies are certainly being prepared,” adds Flood.