Will Wearable Tech Be the Future of Smart Devices?

The recent trend of products that center around wearable technology — notably, Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Glass and Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) rumored iWatch — has led to some unusual speculations, and raised questions that point down the road towards a big shift in tech: in light of these new devices, will handsets eventually become obsolete?

CNBC ran a story on Sunday suggesting just that. The advancement of technology, the ability to compact systems into increasingly smaller spaces while jacking up the power and processing abilities have led to new applications for it, which are more suited for natural integration with the user. In recent cases, eyewear and wristbands have been the applications of choice.

“This is just the start of where wearable technology is going,” said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst for Gartner. “Eventually, smart fabrics, which will be the clothes you wear, will also come to market. But that’s years away.”

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Google’s Glass program may hit the public venue as soon as later this year, and Android-compatible smart watches have already arrived. ABI research anticipates that the demand for these devices will explode over the next few years, and shipments of wearable tech devices should reach 485 million by 2018, the firm says.