Wearable device growth 'facing key challenges'
Manama, July 28, 2014
High cost of devices and fast wireless connectivity are key challenges to the adoption of wearable devices in the Middle East, according to Huawei Device Middle East president Jiao Jian.
Consumers in the local market are price-sensitive and cost of devices may be a deterrent to purchasing wearable technology in the short term, Jian told the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
"Additionally, the availability of affordable and fast wireless connectivity is key as without it users will be unable to enjoy all the features that wearable technologies can offer," he said.
Noting that many markets across the GCC are investing heavily into next generation broadband networks and working with operators to provide affordable plans for consumers, Jian said as these develop and become more widespread, so will the demand to have the latest connected technologies, such as wearable devices.
According to him, it is also unclear how the public sector will react to the industry.
Its support could witness a burst of adoption in the region, he added.
"Most GCC governments are leading strong mobile and e-government initiatives to improve citizen services.
"This ranges from transport, utilities, police and municipalities to health services, education and even bill payments," he said.
With this developing level of technological innovation, Mr Jian feels the public sector could be one of the primary drivers behind wearable technology adoption in the future.
Recognising the significance of the wearable devices industry, although still in its infancy, the Chinese consumer electronics major launched its first piece of wearable technology, the Huawei TalkBand B1, he said.
"It is a hybrid mobile companion, which syncs to our MediaPad featuring enhanced connectivity through wireless calling. It is near field communication compatible and provides daily fitness activity tracking on the go."
Conceding that the wearable devices available today, such as smart watches, health monitors, fitness gadgets, Internet-enabled rings and connected glasses, etc., are still a way off being truly interactive, Mr Jian feels they are the pioneers of an evolving industry.
"Ultimately, wearable devices are going to help us overcome our human limitations, making lifestyle more driven by the mind and a better connected world of endless possibilities," he added.
IDC research estimates that the wearable device market will reach a total of 19.2 million units by the end of the year. - TradeArabia News Service