wearable-history-featured

The History of Wearable Technology

The History of Wearable Technology

The History of Wearable Technology

Today’s infographic not only highlights the history of wearable technology, but it also shows the noticeable acceleration in the advancement and adoption of new innovations. At the beginning, it would take hundreds of years between breakthroughs such as eyeglasses and the abacus ring. Today, new wearable tech innovations happen every month. In the last ten years, we’ve had the Google Glass, Fitbit, Oculus Rift, and countless others.

Interestingly, the history of wearable technology is littered with commercial failures and a few game changers, with not much in between. The reality is, however, that the duds seem to outweigh the successes by a wide margin.

For investors, this means that a strategic investment in a wearable tech company or product could either be a ten-bagger or go to zero. For this reason, due diligence is a key aspect of judging the validity of these companies.

As examples, the air-conditioned hat, Pulsar Calculator Watch, Seiko UC 2000 Wrist PC, and Levi’s ICD+ Jacket never really took off. Even great technologies such as the Google Glass never really generated any returns. This was a lot of risk to take on for no return, but perhaps in the future these patents and knowledge can benefit a company like Google.

The clearest commercial success on the list happened in 1979. The Sony Walkman and subsequent Sony Discman helped put the company on track to become an entertainment powerhouse. Over 400 million Walkman portable music players have been sold over time, with about 200 million of those being cassette players.

However, not all products with good fanfare are destined for success. The commercial potential of many wearable technologies introduced in recent years are still up in the air.

Fitbit filed for a $100 million IPO, but it now has to compete against a plethora of other fitness trackers on the market. The Apple Watch has been launched to much fanfare, but it comes with no guarantees for Apple – a company that needs a lot of new revenues on a product to move the needle. Lastly, the creation of the Oculus Rift could pioneer virtual reality and bring it to consumers. The company was already bought by Facebook for $400 million in cash, $1.6 billion in stock, and an additional $300 million contingent on specific financial targets. Will this transaction ultimately benefit Facebook shareholders? While there are no guarantees, so far reviews have been overwhelmingly positive for the virtual reality device.

What is clear is that, based on the history of wearable technology, devices that move the masses are far and between. The successes that do make it, however, can change the world and generate chart-topping returns.

Original graphic by: Staysourced

subscribe_tovc2

Other Infographics

Powering New York
Peak Population
Inside Tesla's $5 Billion Gigafactory
Space Wars: The Private Sector Strikes Back

Embed This Image On Your Site (copy code below):



Mornings are better with Visual Capitalist.coffee_email1

Thank you!
Given email address is already subscribed, thank you!
Please provide a valid email address.
Please complete the CAPTCHA.
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.