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The smartwatch category is set to grow dramatically, says IDC’s Restivo

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IDC analyst Kevin Restivo says smartwatches are the natural evolution of computing power getting gradually closer, physically, to the end user. Computing began, he notes, with mainframe computers in a backroom, evolved to desktops, then to smartphones, and now to devices we will wear, such as the Galaxy Gear or Google Glass.

Samsung’s new Galaxy Gear smartwatch is the first device in its category to create a real buzz, but it probably won’t be the last, says one analyst.

Kevin Restivo, Senior Mobility Analyst at IDC was on BNN’s “The Street” yesterday to talk about the launch of Samsung’s new Galaxy Gear smartwatch.

Restivo says the category is obviously unproven, and smartwatches will have to demonstrate value to consumers to have staying power, but he expects that sales of the devices will spike in the near term.

“The devil is in the details,” says Restivo, noting that many wondered how tablets would do before they became a hit with consumers. Smartwatch manufacturers will have to prove to us that we need the devices, he says, and they are immediately bucking the dominant trend towards much larger screens. Restivo says he is still skeptical personally, but expects that the category will “grow dramatically”.

The IDC analyst says smartwatches are the natural evolution of computing power getting gradually closer, physically, to the end user. Computing began, he notes, with mainframe computers in a backroom, evolved to desktops, then to smartphones, and now to devices we will wear, such as the Galaxy Gear or Google Glass.

“Wearable computing as a category is the evolution of computing and we will see that continue,” says Restivo.

A new report from Juniper Research says Samsung and Apple are about to drive shipments of smartwatches through the roof, from just a million this year to to 36 million annually by 2018. The report says the the mobile wireless accessory market will reach 170 million units in 2018.

Click here for the full interview.

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About The Author /

Nick Waddell
Cantech Letter founder and editor Nick Waddell has lived in five Canadian provinces and is proud of his country's often overlooked contributions to the world of science and technology. Waddell takes a regular shift on the Canadian media circuit, making appearances on CTV, CBC and BNN, and contributing to publications such as Canadian Business and Business Insider.

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