Over at Wareable.com, the team has put together a list of the most hotly anticipated wearable items set to debut in 2015. Unsurprisingly, many of these are geared towards a tech audience, skewing more towards the “gadget” end of the spectrum rather than the “jewelry” or “fashionable accessory” end.
The real surprise, however, is the emphasis on gaming, virtual reality, and immersive experiences. Out of 15 items listed, seven are VR or immersion-experience devices, such as the Oculus Rift, Microsoft HoloLens, and the Sony Project Morpheus. Many of these look like stripped-down motorcycle helmets with a smartphone in lieu of the face shield. While the promise of these technologies is compelling, their lack of design aesthetic coupled with many of these offerings lacking a declared release date makes clear that the focus of the industry is on the technology and not the actual design. When the product makes Google Glass look sleek, its design might need to be revisited.
Aside from VR, smart watches feature prominently as well. With the launch of Apple’s watch, the usual cadre of competitors (Huawei, HTC, Samsung, and Pebble) will try to elbow in on the market share. Some of the entrants are unexpected, though – TAG Heuer is set to release their own smartwatch later this year, and Huawei’s offering is astonishingly sleek and upscale, not to mention more compact than most others’ offerings.
While the wearable space is no stranger to weird and off-beat offerings, this list is upsettingly pedestrian. Where are the technologies that are either non-gadgety or which could have a real impact on people? And if they’re out there, why aren’t we anticipating them? Either way, 2015 does seem to be a watershed year for wearable tech, with the frontiers of where this industry could go getting pushed to the limit.
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