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With so much happening in the technology world in early 2015, we already have a lot to look forward to. Continuing research and development in the field of new-age, disruptive IT is fueling increased hype among analysts and enthusiasm in the consumer market, with wearable tech being one of the most exciting emerging segments right now. As we enter the new year, we take a look at some futuristic technology trends and consider how ready the mainstream market really is to accept wearable tech.

The history of wearable tech goes back as far as the 1980s, but what we’re witnessing now is far beyond early prototyping. We’re now preparing for a world of ubiquitous computing. Yes, wearable technologies will penetrate more and more areas of our daily lives, but they won’t remain simply wearables—they will also interact with the many other devices and machines around us.

Ubiquitous computing and wearable technology move us toward a common vision of making computing a part of everyday life. Cutting-edge technologies such as the Internet of Things, robotics, artificial intelligence and augmented virtual reality combined with the cloud, mobility, and advanced analytics is powering the future of IT. Wearable tech is intertwined with each of these, and, as a consequence, is now rapidly evolving from mere prototypes to some early mainstream products.

Microsoft launched Windows Holographic last Wednesday, January the 21st, at the Windows 10 event in Redmond, Washington. The Windows Holographic platform works with Microsoft’s HoloLens headset, a technology that—requiring no extra wires or camera—allows users to view holograms. Both the HoloLens and Windows 10 are slated to be available for sale this fall.

Meanwhile, the Apple Watch is ready to hit the shelves this spring. Apple has taken a different approach to marketing its wearable watch­. According to Apple, it’s more than just another wearable smartwatch, it’s a fashion statement. And Apple’s brand magic may very well make this product positioning work, analysts predict. According to ABI Research, “Wearable Computing Devices, like Apple’s iWatch, will exceed 485 Million annual shipments by 2018.”

Joining Pebble, the pioneer of the modern smartwatch, Google also made its move into the smartwatch space with its Android Wear operating system, now running on a plethora of devices. Last June, LG, Sony, and Motorola all launched smartwatches running Android Wear. Meanwhile, Samsung released five smartwatches in 2014.

Wearable tech is not limited to smartwatches or fitness monitors. It represents a much bigger market that touches many industries. For example, smart garments, including sensor t-shirts that measure the wearer’s heart rate, are now moving up in the health and fitness segment—a step forward from the current smart wristbands. Combined with virtual reality, cloud infrastructure, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, robotics and other next-gen technologies, wearable tech is redefining market dynamics across many industries. The steady march forward of brands like Microsoft, Samsung, and Apple is likely to fuel greater user acceptance in the years to come. It’s time we get ready to “wear IT.

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