Thanks in large part to the more established fitness device market, wearable tech-related products are expected to generate as much as $8 billion in revenue in 2013, and could grow to $20 billion in annual sales by 2017, according to a report issued today by research firm Futuresource Consulting.
Wearable devices including Nike's (NYSE: NKE ) FuelBand that tracks daily activity, monitors calorie consumption, and can be synced with smartphones, among other functions, will account for 97% of wearable technology revenues this year, according to Futuresource.
However, with the advent of smartwatch devices from mobile industry veterans, including the world leader in smartwatches, Sony (NYSE: SNE ) with its recently released SmartWatch 2, along with Samsung's (NASDAQOTH: SSNLF ) voice-activated Galaxy Gear, Futuresource suggests that smartwatches will lead the growth in the wearable tech market. The growth in smartwatches will be augmented, Futuresource said, by smartwatch entrants from other mobile device manufacturers and existing watchmakers.
The growth in smartwatch sales, projected to be 0.9 million in 2013, will come at the expense of fitness-related wearable devices, according to Futuresource, as smartwatches begin incorporating more fitness-related features into their products.
Though it's not out of its beta-testing infancy, Futuresource expects that wearable glasses such as Google (NASDAQ: GOOG ) Glass will have a negligible impact on the wearable device market in 2014, selling "less than one million smartglasses." However, by 2017 smartglasses sales could grow to 17 million units and generate nearly $2 billion in sales.