Wearable computers “took a outrageous step forward” in 2013 and shipments of smartwatches and associated inclination will grow by 78 per cent a year until 2018, according to IDC said.

The series of such inclination should tip 19 million by a finish of 2014, triple a series from final year, IDC said. In 2018, that series should bloat to roughly 112 million.

IDC for a initial time released a wearables foresee that divides a marketplace into 3 categories trimming from low-cost, elementary inclination to higher-cost products with stretched capabilities. The 3 categories are dubbed formidable accessories, intelligent accessories and intelligent wearables.

IDC’s difficulty of formidable accessories embody aptness bands ragged on a wrist such as Nike+, FuelBand and Fitbit. Some of these inclination cost as small as $50, though some-more typically, $100. They will be a many renouned of all 3 categories by 2018. They work partially when eccentric of a smartphone or other device, though entirely when connected — customarily around Bluetooth — to a smartphone, tablet, PC or other IP-capable device.

The center segment, intelligent accessories, will solemnly benefit movement and transcend shipments of formidable accessories by 2018, IDC said. These inclination also count on connectors to IP-capable hardware like smartphones, though concede users to supplement third-party apps to boost facilities and functions. Examples embody a Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch, that works with some Galaxy smartphones, and creatively cost $300, as good as a Sony SmartWatch and Pebble smartwatch.

“Their value tender has nonetheless to be totally clarified,” IDC pronounced in a statement.

The third and many formidable difficulty — intelligent wearables such as Google Glass — is usually in early stages. It won’t be until 2016 that shipments of intelligent wearables tip 2 million units shipped, IDC said. Smart wearables will be roughly entirely eccentric of other inclination solely for entrance to a Internet.

“To succeed, intelligent wearable vendors contingency remonstrate users to change to a new user knowledge while charity them a strong preference of third-party applications,” IDC said. “It is not a doubt of if, though when wearables as a whole will extend into a enterprise.”

Some companies are already experimenting with uses for Google Glass, that is now being sole usually to early adopters in a special module during a cost of $1,500 — a cost that’s approaching to dump once Glass ships. Google is holding to a designed 2014 release, though some analysts are doubtful.

Even during some-more than $1,000, a wearable headset like Google Glass would cost most reduction than many ruggedized headsets sole for attention use that can cost in a mixed thousands of dollars.

IDC pronounced that Apple should enter a wearable record marketplace in 2015, nonetheless some reports design a product to be announced after this year. Rumors have focused on a smartwatch, that some are job a iWatch.

As for a probable Google Watch, IDC called that “still only a rumor.”

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter during @matthamblen or allow to Matt’s RSS feed. His email residence is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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