As investors, we are always searching for the next big thing that will catapult our favorite stocks to fresh highs. Be it a new technology, the must-have trend, or a revolutionary discovery. All of the products we rely on today were at one time considered "the next big thing." So what's next? According to Forrester Research, wearable tech gear is about to go mainstream. Let's take a look at how you can grab a piece of the action.
Seeing is believing
A term you want to be familiar with before we go any further is augmented reality. AR is a technology that integrates a computer-generated image with a user's real-world surroundings. It may sound like I'm describing a scene from the movie The Matrix. But in truth, versions of this technology are already in use today across various industries.
Think heads-up display in luxury vehicles -- a feature that will come standard in General Motors'
A person wearing a pair of Google Glasses would be able to look out the window and see the temperature or weather data as an overlay to what they see outside. If the rumors are accurate, the data-enhanced glasses will run on a 3G or 4G data connection. Reports also indicate that the new shades will run on the Android platform and cost between $250 and $600.
Battle for your eyes
Google isn't the only company hoping to bring augmented reality to your eyes. Oakley, which is owned by Luxottica Group
Oakley definitely has an advantage from a style perspective, although Google wins on the technical front -- with a $600 price tag, consumers will want glasses that can do more than simply make a fashion statement.
Wearable devices in general have been around for years; in fact Nike's
At $149 a pop, the band seems a bit pricey given its basic functionality. The FuelBand uses a standard accelerometer and a thin LED display that lights up green when you get moving. This is a bit underwhelming for a brand that touts its image as gear made for serious athletes. Yet, as it turns out, thousands of Nike + FuelBand customers disagree with me. The Fool's Rick Munarriz was able to get one of the limited quantities available for preorder before they sold out.
This isn't the first time Nike's shown us its geeky tech side. In 2006, the sports giant teamed up with Apple
The result? Nike fans everywhere let out a celebratory "Swoosh!"
It's easy to see why Nike is the world's largest sporting-goods maker, and Apple the world's most valuable company. But what moneymaking partnerships can we expect from this new multibillion-dollar "wearables" market in the future? Perhaps Oakley will license its treasure trove of patents to Google for a new pair of spectacles. For now, I'm betting on Google and Nike's continued dominance in the space.
Either way, there's little doubt the new tech gear will revolutionize the way we live. Add these stocks to My Watchlist to help you get in on the action ahead of the market. My Watchlist is a free Motley Fool tool that lets you track and monitor your favorite stocks. Trust me, you don't want to miss this.
Fool contributor Tamara Rutter owns shares of Apple. Follow her on Twitter, where she uses the handle @TamaraRutter, for more Foolish insights and investing advice. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google. The Fool owns shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Nike, General Motors, Apple, and Google. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a diagonal call position in Nike. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.