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Why 2014 is Shaping up to be the Year of the Smart Watch

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The smart watch industry is growing at an unstoppable pace, with 3 million smart watches sold in 2013, compared to 0.3 million in 2012. The high tech watches are proving to be one of the biggest revolutions in the watch industry for decades.

With many of the gadgets acting as a middleman between owner and phone, smart watches are proving to have endless applications, from sports to communication, via gaming and organisation.

Samsung’s Galaxy Gear watch is currently dominating the market, with just over a third of smart watch purchases being a Samsung product. There is a notable absence in the market from Samsung’s main technology competitor – Apple. However, Apple has been seeking to register the “iWatch” trademark in Japan and there are strong rumours that Apple are preparing to launch the first iWatch in October 2014. The iWatch is likely to be a health tracker, counting calories and pulse rates, amongst other vitals, as well as receiving phone messages and, oh yes, telling the time!

Another unlikely smart watch competitor surfacing in 2014 is the rapper Will.I.Am, who has founded his own company and designed his own watch, which is able to make and take calls. The watch is rumoured to launch in autumn 2014, and the Black Eyed Pea cheekily showed off the watch on the final of The Voice (shown on the BBC, who very much frown on product placement), as Mr. I.Am took a phone call from none other than Cheryl Cole on his curved screen watch.

Google are also rumoured to join the fray in 2014. Google acquired the smart watch company Wimm in 2012, and in the same year filed a patent for a dual flip-up screen smart watch, which would certainly make them stand out in the market.

Smart Watches have also proven incredibly useful during the Brazil FIFA World Cup, as more companies embrace the many applications of wearable technology. Referees are now wearing smart watches, developed by the German company Goal Control, which are linked to sensors placed on the goal line. Within a second of the ball rolling across the line, the referees are told via an alert on their watches, meaning no more goal controversies.

Smart watches are now far from the fad that they were believed to be when the first ‘wearables’ started surfacing, but sales are still relatively small. The market has vast potential, and with the imminent release of the iWatch, smart watches are set to be one of the biggest growth industries in 2015.

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