Vancouver-based Vandrico is fast becoming a go-to resource for the wearable space. In February the wearable tech research and development firm launched the most comprehensive internet database of wearables. Most recently, Vandrico has published its Q1 2014 Wearable Market Insights report which provides insights and forecasts on this new wave of computing.
On doesn’t need a report to know that wearable technology is hot: according to Vandrico, over the past 12 months we’ve see a 588 percent growth in monthly Internet searches for “wearable technology” on Google alone. Vandrico’s own database now has 193 wearables up from 115 when it first launched nearly three months ago.
When it comes to pricing of wearables, Vandrico finds that the majority of wearable tech (70 percent) falls under the $300 USD price point with the most common prices being $100 and $250. This points to the success of fitness trackers like Fitbit Flex which retails for $99.99 as well as smartwatches like Pebble which sells for $149.99. Noticeably, Vandrico’s findings show two polarized price ranges for wearables leaving a wide gap between wearables at $550 or under and those that are over $1,000. Smart glasses like Google Glass, Vuzix and Meta are of those that sit in the higher end of this scale.
Like other products, Vandrico points out that pricing, quality and product complexity play a role in consumer purchasing behavior but they stress how important marketability is for wearables in particular. There is no better place to see this then in the crowdfunding space where consumers are funding projects based on slick marketing videos that sell the dream of a device. Vandrico calculated that five of the top 10 Kickstarter campaigns were for wearable tech products. And we have already seen some big wins in wearable crowdfunding, notably Pebble and Oculus Rift.
If you thought you saw a lot of wearables arrive on the market last year, hold onto your hats. A whopping 48 (27 percent) devices listed in the Vandrico database are expected to be released this year mostly around trade shows, especially CES, Mobile World Congress and the Wearable Tech Show in March. But Vandrico is quick to point out that the trade shows have already become quite a crowded place for wearable devices, as we saw especially at CES this year with complete zones dedicated to smartwatches and fitness devices. They predict that some companies will use the off periods between shows to try to get more visibility for their products.
So where is this space headed in the immediate future? Vandrico sees larger, established brands enter the market and crowdfunding campaigns slow this year. They also suggest that we’ll see the emergence of wearables in the workplace going as far as predicting that a pair of Smart Safety Glasses will be announced by the end of 2014.