If reports from the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas are anything to go by then the gadget industry has decided that 2014 is going to be the year of wearable tech.
As we reported at the turn of the year in our Tech Trends for 2014, wearable tech is going to really hit the mainstream this year, bringing the world of science fiction into the world of science fact.
However, whereas smartphones tend to offer slight variations on the same theme, the wearable market isn’t expected to be the same with each smartwatch provider expected to operate their own app store to make the most of their individual features.
What should we expect from wearable tech?
So you get a smartwatch, what should it do? Is it enough to simply tell the time and sync with your smartphone or should it also do the work of a fitness band, that tracks workouts, count calories and analyse sleep patterns?
It may come as no surprise that the tech companies want us to have both – tech giants, Sony and Samsung both released smartwatches last year and subsequently released plans for their forthcoming smartbands.
And it seems most manufactures will go down one route or the other – for instance, the Pebble has great battery life and availability of apps but does not clock fitness, while a Basis band will register your lifestyle put not bother itself with your emails.
On the other hand, Razer, a company that trades in game-orientated gadgets and its Nabu is both a smartwatch and a fitness band with an open development platform – meaning anyone can make an app for it – and seems as close to offering the best of both worlds as possible.
Anyone heard anything from Apple?
So what of Apple? There’s no show without punch, as the saying goes, and since revolutionising the home computer market in the late 90s Apple has hosted the biggest show in town when it comes to tech launches.
And yet it’s all gone quiet on the launch of the eagerly anticipated iWatch.
So will Apple come and gazump everyone with another piece of must-have kit or has the time come for Google or Microsoft (with or without Nokia) to take centre stage?
All should become clearer by the end of this year…