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Huge market potential for wearable devices in China

Two or three years ago, very few people had heard about wearable devices. But now they are creeping slowly into our daily lives. IT companies both at home and abroad are eyeing the huge market potential in China. What can these devices do? And will they become the next electronic devices that change the way we live?

This is not a future imagined in a movie. It’s a present-day advertisement for a new kind of electronic device. Wearable devices are believed to be the next generation of electronics that will reshape our lives.That’s also similar to a prediction from the Shanghai-based National Business Daily. It reports that China’s wearable devices had a market of 68 million US dollars or about 420 million yuan in 2012. And they are expected to reach more than 1 billion yuan in 2015 and nearly 5 billion yuan in 2017.

But now they are creeping slowly into our daily lives. IT companies both at home and abroad are eyeing the huge market potential in China.

This March, three IT giants -- Intel, Google and Facebook -- simultaneously announced investments in the wearable device field.

In China, Xiaomi and Tencent have also stepped into the field.

On Monday, Xiaomi launched a smart bracelet with a price of just 79 yuan, or 13 US dollars. The bracelet can monitor the wearer’s exercise data, and connects to the Xiaomi smartphone with a blue tooth.

Huang Wang is the chief developer of Xiaomi’s smart bracelets. He says although many IT companies are eyeing the market for wearable devices, the devices are not all the same.

This product is just a bracelet in its form. The core technology lies in this small device (interviewee takes it out of the bracelet). It can be worn, say, as a necklace as well. In the future it may even become an implanted chip in the human body. So whether you can stand out, largely depends on what functions you put into this device.Currently, the bracelet records personal data which can unlock the wearer’s smartphone. But ultimately, the developers want the bracelet to be able to automatically turn on and off all household appliances, according to the users’ pre-set preferences and based on their location in the house. It will even be able to decide which program the wearer may want to watch, without them taking any actions.

This may sound like science fiction, but many may still remember this very event that went on to transform a whole industry.

Today, these functions have become just a standard configuration on any smartphone. All this happened in just four years time.

Just a few years ago, few people believed that smartphones would change their lives. Now with more and more companies eyeing the huge potential of the wearable devices, whether these small gadgets will once again revolutionize our lives remains to be seen.

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