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Is the future really bright for wearable technology? Only if businesses embrace it

Every now and then, a new concept comes along that makes significant inroads in how people live and work - beneath the hype, is wearable computing really one of them?

While wearable technology’s exploding popularity is a recent phenomenon, the science behind is not. From its inception by Edward Thorp in the 1960s, the wearable computer came into existence as a device for cheating at the game of roulette. Today, beyond casino tables, wearables computers are the wizards of tiny technology.

On a worldwide level, the optimism surrounding wearables translates into dollars and cents - the market is expected to reach $20.6 billion by 2018, while global shipments of such devices are expected to peak at over 19 million units and rise to 485 million units sold by 2018, according to ABI research.

Considering some of the initial growing pains for wearables, such as consumers losing interest after the newness of their devices wear off, and whether all the data these devices provide can actually help users improve their health and well-being, the key question is will these issues erode or whether are wearables just hype?

>See also: Smart wearables will be inconspicuous to the eye – Gartner

To answer this, we need to look beyond the “cool gizmo” perspective of wearables from just a consumer point of view, and examine whether wearables have a place in the enterprise.