Wearable record is ostensible to be a subsequent prohibited thing though has hardly done a hole in a consumer market.
FORTUNE — Wearable computers might be a marketplace value as many as $6 billion by 2016, though for now it’s a difficulty with some-more hype and tiny substance.
Early users of Google (GOOG) Glass device, mostly determine on one thing: It’s got good intensity though needs a lot of work. Voice approval for commands is still buggy, and a industrial pattern resembles a Star Trek prop. Meanwhile, attempts during other wearable accessories like a Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch haven’t been well-received. The inclination are still flattering singular in terms of what users can do, and in Samsung’s case, a device usually works with a tiny series of phones — all Samsung (SSNLF), of course. And, outward a aptness market, few inclination are labelled low adequate to be competitive. (Google Glass could sell for between $250 and $600 when it arrives after this year, according to the New York Times.)
Anthony Wood, CEO of Roku, is reduction than eager about a hardware category. “Watches in sold strike me as being quite geeky — something I’d have wanted to play with as a kid,” he says.
Forrester Research analyst JP Gownder says wearables are experiencing a “hype bubble,” comparing a marketplace to a Internet of 1999. “It took many unsuccessful experiments like Pets.com before we found genuine business models compared with a Internet,” says Gownder. He says a same goes for wearable computing companies. “Most of them don’t have good business models, and many consumers don’t know because they’d be shopping these things.”
Where wearables aren’t wanting is fitness. No reduction than 10 opposite vendors, including Nike (NKE), Fitbit, and Jawbone have wristbands that lane opposite activities like using and sleep. “In fitness, 2013 was kind of a mess,” admits Gownder, who argues their business-to-consumer (B2C) approach is a small, singular market. “It’s people who are aptness fanatics, people who are overweight, and people who are quantified selfers,” referring to a trend of people obsessively tracking their steps, sleep, and other movements.
But maybe it’s a B2C partial that’s a ill fit? Box CEO Aaron Levie, underwhelmed when he attempted Glass late final year, argues a selling around it is all wrong. He thinks it should be repositioned for a industrial or craving worlds. Says Levie: “Think about what really low-cost, hands-free computing can do for a health caring industry, or what it could do for production, for somebody who’s doing repairs of engines.”
Maybe adequate of those geeks could make a perspective of Google Glass a tiny some-more rose-colored.