2014 seemed to be the year that Wearable Computing would truly take off. Manufacturers like Google, Apple, Samsung and Sony were looking for leadership mindshare and revenue dividend in the fledgling market.
As it often happens, hype and hyperbole dominated the market. While major projects and product announcements have come to naught, it is the smaller and less spectacular advances which have actually been market successes. Wearable devices with simpler and more focused functions (like for joggers’ heart rates, steps, balance, etc.) have become ordinary while watch-computers have not. Fujitsu has just announced a product, called FUJITSU Vehicle ICT FEELythm, which monitors drivers for pulse waves and nerve activity and warns them in case they are dozing off. Here it is: http://www.fujitsu.com/global/about/resources/news/press-releases/2015/0119-02.html.
Case in point: Google has cancelled the manufacture and sale of the vaunted Google Glass.
True to corporate form the corporation is describing the move as ‘growing up’ and that the product will be back, but reading between the lines is simple. Not only the product and its price point of $1,500 did not reach critical mass given a lack of utility and application, but many bars, restaurants and cinemas had actually banned the device. Google Glass has moved out of the X division and not be considered a cutting edge undertaking. Whether it would actually come back is to be seen.
Whatever the case, it is undoubtedly a setback for Google and the wearable computing segment.