2015 will be a significant year for smartglasses, with predicted unit shipment growth of almost 150% YoY, says ABI Research.
The majority of growth will come from the enterprise and public sector, rather than consumers – more than 90%. Enterprise and public includes industries such as remote assistance, police and military, security, warehouse and barcode scanning.
While smart glasses were promoted as a smartphone replacement in 2014 (mainly due to Google Glass), ABI senior practice director Nick Spencer commented that, “2014 showed the use case for smart glasses is task specific, for example remote assistance, security (facial and number plate recognition), augmented reality, and virtual reality”.
Despite the impressive growth, another wearable – smartwatches – will be the fastest-growing wearable. ABI expects consumer adoption will push more than 300% shipment growth of these products; primarily due to Apple’s market entry. ABI predicts that sales of the Apple Watch will have almost a 50% market share this year.
The form factor of smart glasses was criticised by Spencer, who called the devices, “a retrograde form-factor and a very obtrusive one for the user and general public”.