Nike just announced that it is exiting its FuelBand fitness tracker business.
Another article claims that “it’s only a matter of time until [Google Glass] joins devices such as the Zune, the Kin, the PlayBook, and the Xoom in tech hell.”
Despite musings that wearable tech is dead and dying, these are just growing pains.
Wearable devices are still in an early bleeding edge phase where manufacturers and users are trying to figure out what works, what users want, what users find creepy, and what users are willing to pay for.
Take Google Glass, for instance. I have no doubt that there is a future for head mounted display devices. The unknown is how popular they will be beyond niche uses for things like surgeons, mechanics or others needing to see and send information while they use their hands.
Fitness trackers have been compared to January gym memberships – many tend to use them for only a short time before abandoning them. There may be a limit to sales of one function devices, but there is more promise to multifunction devices. One potentially interesting market is for wearable devices that stretch beyond fitness tracking to medical tracking.
Wearables are not dead – but perhaps are in the “trough of disillusionment” in the Gartner Hype Cycle.