Considering the Future of Wearables in the Internet of Things

An experienced researcher, Dr. Tomas Diaz de la Rubia has focused on advanced computer technology for over a decade. As a director with Deloitte Consulting’s strategy sector, Dr. Tomas Diaz de la Rubia oversees efforts to capitalize on disruptive technologies.

At the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this past January, wearable devices were highly anticipated. However, a limited display of new devices prompted critical speculation about the appeal of wearables and their disruptive potential. While stylized fitness trackers and Android-based wristwatches fueled significant growth throughout 2014, experts cited issues such as battery life and limited functionality as major hurdles in the mainstream consumer electronics market.

So far, manufacturers have made little headway in terms of app availability and lifespan. According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers study, only about one in five Americans actively uses wearables. In spite of this criticism, early adopters and tech companies champion the sheer convenience of true 24/7 connectivity, as well as the form factor of luxury designer technology. Perhaps most importantly, the Apple Watch was noticeably absent from the convention, yet its release in March 2015 is highly anticipated. Given the company’s reputation for innovation and seamless integration with existing iPhone and iPad devices, the Apple Watch may be the one to finally deliver on the bold promises that have yet to come to fruition.

In spite of lukewarm opinions about wearables, one undeniable takeaway from CES 2015 is that the Internet of Things is just beginning to take off. As of 2014, there were more connected devices than people on the planet. Whether wearable devices are an agent of change for the new industry or merely a niche product for technophiles and fitness enthusiasts remains to be seen.

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