Wearable Tech Is Poised for a Breakout Year in 2015, Forrester Survey Says

Apple Watch will stoke the trend

Wearable technology is going to be a hot-ticket item in the U.S. next year, according to new survey results from Forrester Research.

The popularity of computers that you can wear is at a tipping point—10 percent of Americans already sport activity trackers such as Fitbit Flex and Jawbone UP. And 45 percent of those surveyed said they are "intrigued by the prospect of getting a wearable device." By comparison, 4 percent of Europeans wear fitness trackers, and 32 percent are interested in buying wearable devices.

That 10 percent is an important signpost on the road to mass-market adoption. And as Reuters reported, the Apple Watch will only help drive the trend when it hits shelves in 2015—it's expected to draw 10 million buyers in its first year. In anticipation of the stampede, Apple is reportedly looking for staff members with fashion and luxury experience to hawk the upscale accessory.

Intel also recently appealed to fashionistas with a blingy bracelet that fires up Facebook, Google and Yelp. But researchers noted that wearables appeal to field workers, customer service reps and hospital staff, too, who can use video, photo or barcode features on the job.

Report author J. P. Gownder said the wearable market will take off because of demand from brands, retailers, healthcare firms, athletic stadiums and others. In fact, 52 percent of businesses polled said preparing for the increasingly popular technology was a moderate to critical priority.

@stephpaterik stephanie.paterik@adweek.com Stephanie Paterik is the executive editor of Adweek, where she leads the editorial staff and strategy.