richard-cope-mintelIf you would like to know what this trend – and others – mean for your business please contact Richard to discuss our trend presentation, project and facilitation services.E-mail: rcope@mintel.com;  Twitter  @Richard_Mintel

You know something’s trending when it gets its own trade and media event  – and later this month I’m delighted to say that l’ll be attending The Wearable Technology Show at London’s Olympia Conference Centre. Billed as Europe’s ‘biggest dedicated event’ for the sector, it will afford me the opportunity to hear from the innovators, try out and try on their innovations and report back to you on where we’re headed in the consumer space.

Google Glass has become the emblem of this burgeoning movement and it’s unfortunate that a term of abuse for those trialling it – “glassholes” – has launched ahead of the product itself. For every doubt about Glass – around surreptitious spying or narcissistic life loggers – there’s a life-enriching possibility, from cultural deep dives in galleries, to POV recording as an aid to dementia sufferers. There’s more to wearable tech than Google Glass though and at Mintel – as discussed in our 2014 predictions – we believe that it’s smartwatches, wristbands and bracelets that have the genuine potential amongst consumers.

There are numerous reasons to be encouraged by the commercial potential of wearable tech. One is that the furore around the surveillance tactics of the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has woken up consumers to how they might co-opt surveillance for their own needs (see our blog Look Both Ways). We’re increasingly going to see consumers wearing devices to track their loved ones, monitor their own health and protect themselves and their belongings and save money. This is going to be driven by a rise in working parents, by an ageing, ailing population, by sedentary lifestyles and by the growing itch we need to scratch – namely to analyse and communicate constantly.

On March 18th I’ll be going to find out more and about where we’re headed and what’s on offer and look forward to telling you more.

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