Annual shipments will increase to 135 million in 2018 and be dominated by wrist worn devices, comprising 68 million smartwatches and 50 million smart bands, mainly fitness and well-being trackers.

Although CCS Insight also made predictions for smart glasses, wearable life-logging cameras and electronic jewellery they did not break out (or possibly include) any numbers for hearing aids.

Nonetheless, CCS Insights are strong believers in fitness trackers. "Wearables are poised to be the perfect gift for the person who has everything this Christmas. We believe this will fuel strong growth in the final quarter of 2014 for smart bands, particularly fitness trackers, which will account for more than half of the 35 million wearables in use at end of 2014," Marina Koytcheva, CCS Insight’s forecasting director.

CCS Insight’s forecast also foresees strong future growth in smartwatches. 

Wearables forecast. Source: CCS Insight

North America currently leads the way in terms of adoption of wearables: 5.2 million wearables were sold in North America in 2013, and over 40 percent of all wearable devices currently in use are there. This is partially because many wearable companies are based in North America, but also because the region has proven eager to adopt new technology: a good example of this is tablets. But Western Europe is catching up and from 2016 is expected to buy more wearables than North America. Adoption will be slower in emerging markets and primarily driven by tech-savvy, affluent users.

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