Just a few months ago in this column, I heralded the imminent arrival of the wearable tech revolution. Since then, the buzz has grown much louder, and the sales have climbed upward. In 2014, wearable technology was a curiosity. In 2015, it will become a cultural phenomenon.
For that reason, we are launching our new Tech section this issue, reporting the latest developments in wearable technology. We covered the category extensively in our October issue, and the positive reception made it clear there is a lot of interest in the subject. Each issue, we’ll examine the latest advancements and talk to the innovators and thought leaders in the field.
The current state of wearable technology is an interesting one. In a global survey, 42% of respondents indicated a desire to use wearable tech. Hundreds of products are ready for release. Demand is exponentially higher than merely two years ago.
And yet, wearable tech is still in its infancy. Little has been perfected yet, and the trial and error will play out in public view as the mainstream embraces these products. The next few years will be fascinating.
To launch our new section, we examine the impact of the highly anticipated Apple Watch. The common thought was that wearable tech wouldn’t be legitimatized until Apple had its say. Now the Watch's rumored release date approaches, and with it the possible arrival of the first mainstream wearable device.
But will Apple deliver a revolutionary product as it has done multiple times before? Experts are skeptical, as you can read in the article. My belief is that Apple will have to initially settle for being a sales success before taking on grander ambitions. That’s because the smartwatch has its appeal, but it also has its work cut out. Smartphones have become ensconced in our lives – and the smartwatch can’t settle for being “smartphone lite.” Real innovations are needed to make it a radically successful device.
If these types of growing pains are going to deter you as a distributor, don’t be. Wearable technology in our industry is already offering potent rewards as employee gifts, incentives and health-care tools. Their use will grow very quickly, culminating in mass adoption. As distributors, we want you on the ground floor, because there is real value in being one of the first to present these options to your clients.
And the Winners Are …
This issue also features our annual Wearables Apparel Design Awards. We’ve added five new decoration categories this year to reflect the amazing printing by suppliers and decorators in the industry. There are 42 top products featured in our cover story – each deserved winners and top finishers. But be sure to visit our website (Wearablesmag.com) to check out all the finalists, 154 items that act as a curated selection from top suppliers in our industry. Any of them can be the foundation for your next sale.
Thanks for reading,
Charles J. Mittica