CES and beyond: 7 tech trends that will define 2014

5. Wearable Tech will get trendy

If 2013 was the year that wearable tech first hit the catwalks, 2014 is set to be the year it reaches the high street.

Apple iWatch

In 2013, Google Glass pioneered the wearable HUD device, with a host of rivals springing up to challenge the big G's smart specs. With Google Glass expanding beyond Google's Explorer programme to members of the public, the device – and others like it – are set to enter the mainstream.

Smartwatches arrived en masse in 2013, but the major manufacturers' efforts were plagued by short battery life. We gave both the Sony Smartwatch 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Gear 3 stars in our reviews. The standout device from the most recent crop of smartwatches was Kickstarter hit the Pebble, which made clever use of a monochrome screen to make the most of its battery.

Rumours abound that 2014 will see Apple's entry into the smartwatch market with the iWatch, with Cupertino's design gurus reportedly experimenting with flexible display technology and apps to control home automation. Whatever the case, Apple's involvement could mark the point at which smartwatches – and, by extension, other wearable tech – well and truly hits the mainstream.

CES 2014 promises to showcase many new devices in the wearable field, with health and fitness being near the top of the agenda. The show has confirmed it will give 11,500 square feet of space to sports and fitness tech, predicting the market to grow by 25 percent.

One factor that's hobbled recent wearable tech is that, bluntly, it doesn't look very stylish. CES 2014 aims to change perceptions of wearables, with style-focused exhibit FashionWare. Karen Chupka, senior vice president of International CES, said of the exhibit, "From jackets that adjust based on outside temperatures to solar-charging handbags and more, innovations in wearable technology are shaping the industry.” 

Exhibitors confirmed are Brother; known for its sewing machines, CLO Virtual Fashion Inc.; which produces 3D fashion design software, and FashionTEQ, which integrates technology into fashion items aimed at women.

More after the break...

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