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Wearables in enterprises: Good, bad, inevitable

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Google Glass? wearables?

In addition, innovations in wearable devices are flooding the industry with millions of sensors. Driven by rising demand for fitness and health monitoring features, as well as by improved user interfaces, shipments of sensors used in mobile devices and body electronics will rise by a factor of seven from 2013 through 2019, according to IHS Technology.

Even ARM is joining the wearable technology bandwagon. David Maidment, mobile segment marketing manager at ARM, who is now focusing on the wearable market, shared his views on this exciting market for the company. He said:

At ARM we work right across the value chain: we are working with the OEMs, with the silicon partners, with the service providers that are looking to make use of the new technologies. Mainly we are working with the low power of ARM's IP, primarily in the space of the Cortex M and Cortex A family of processors, on Mali GPU Family and the TrustZone technology, which plays an important part of the security in the wearable devices.

The wearables present an incredible opportunity for our value proposition because of the small form factor and small batteries. And people don't want to be charging them very often, maybe once a week. As a result you require ultra-low-power processors, and that is a perfect match for ARM's product platform and our designs. One nice example is the watch I use, the Pebble, a smartwatch based on a Cortex M3 processor. The battery lasts for about a week. Feels like a normal watch, but has a world of applications.

However, there's still a long way to go before wearable technology reaches the peak of success. In a report published earlier, we showed research firm Gartner plotting the direction to mass market success of many emerging technologies, including wearables, in its annual "Hype Cycle" report. (Read the entire report: Long road to success for wearables.)

Industry players may have already started rolling out their wearables, but research analysts said it will still take time before the technology will be adopted by mainstream consumers.

Gartner positioned wearables, along with consumer 3D printing, in the "peak of inflated expectations" phase, which represents a time when a hype cycle encounters a lot of publicity with some successes and scores of failures. Both technologies are pegged to reach mainstream adoption, referred to as the "plateau of productivity" in five to 10 years.

(With inputs from Information Week's Shane O'Neill)


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