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The wearables market should only accelerate in 2015, and is presenting unique opportunities for niche products that help consumers. The idea of so-called "hearables" will be heavily marketed as companies develop new products that otherwise would have been overlooked.
The hearable market is expected to be valued at $5 billion by 2018 - close to the same figure of the 2014 wearables market overall - according to Wifore Consulting.
"There's some interesting information you can capture through the ear," said Craig Stires, associate vice president for bit data, analytics and software for IDC Asia Pacific, in a statement to CNBC. "We've been looking at things like wrist wearables, but the ear can capture things like oxygen levels, electrocardiograms, and body temperature."
The market for wearable police body cameras is rising because of national interest, and investors expect Taser International to benefit from an "outperform" rating - as the company known for nonlethal weapons will benefit from interest in body cameras. Half of the US domestic police force currently use Taser's stun guns, and analysts believe wearable body cameras could outperform that number in the next few years.
"In a time where even the most minute news stories of excessive police force have the ability to instantly go viral, pressure will mount on police departments to provide video evidence that qualifies actions," noted an Oppenheimer report. "TASR shares surged 30 percent following the shooting in August of unarmed teen Michael Brown, and the lack of crime scene documentation."
The company's shares closed at $23.98 on Friday, and are currently trading at $25.96 - closing in on the Oppenheimer target price of $28.
"I've got your back bro" exclaims Virgin Media. If you're prone to falling asleep on the couch or have had a long day at work, Virgin Media has developed a new device that will auto-record your show to a connected TiVo box when you slip off to sleep.
This wristband is named be KipstR and works in conjunction with a TIVo box, designed by 15 year old Ryan Oliver and 14 year old Jonathan Kingsley - two youngsters who were commissioned by Virgin Media to develop this 3D-printed device in their Manchester Creative Studio.
We've seeing more 3D-printed devices hit the market which is awesome to see. The way this hot piece of tech works is to utilize a pulse-oximeter to closely monitor the wearers blood flow and content of oxygen located within. When your heart slows down due to you nodding off, the KipstR will sense this and start recording your session.
We've heard the rumors a few times now, and only just a few days ago we reported that we'd be seeing Microsoft unveil a VR headset for the Xbox One at E3 2015 but now developers have confirmed that they're working on an Xbox One VR head-mounted display (HMD).
VRFocus has spoken with "several studios" that have confirmed they're working on a device, but no specific information was shared. We should see Microsoft competing directly with Sony and its PS4 VR headset "Project Morpheus" as well as the king of the VR hill, Oculus VR and the Rift headset.
Thanks to Oculus and their advanced technology, scientists are conducting "virtual body swapping" studies - putting clients through a literal experience of the "don't judge a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes" common saying.
One of the main reasons behind conducting these experiments is to test negative attitudes geared toward specific groups - as according to Manos Tsakiris from the Royal Holloway University of London. Tsakiris is one of the authors of a new paper published in a journal named "Trends in Cognitive Sciences".
Further commenting on this study, Tsakiris said "once you change people's representations of what their bodies are like, then you can change their social cognition, which is the way in which we relate to others" - wrapping up the success of multiple studies conducted over many years, set to fight bias.
It looks like Microsoft could continue its rampage into 2015, with the latest rumor that the Redmond-based giant will unveil a VR headset at E3 2015 in June. We heard earlier in the year that Microsoft was working on "an investment in VR," so we shouldn't be surprised of this news.
The report is coming from DigiTimes, according to their sources within the Microsoft supply chain that the company is working on a new VR gaming device. Development of the project is handled by the same team that has built the Surface line of devices, but that's all we know. We don't know if this VR device from Microsoft would work as a standalone product, or whether it would tie into the Xbox One.
I think we will see Microsoft step into the VR game at some point, because their major competitor, Sony, is already ahead of them with their own PlayStation 4 exclusive "Project Morpheus" headset. Oculus VR is obviously at the top of their game with the Rift, which will most likely lead the pack and have everyone else just following through trying to cash in on VR, unless they do it right.
Samsung expects wearable technology to help create a "new era of power dressing for business leaders" in 2015, while consumers begin to show greater interest in connected wearable devices. The use of wearables and downloaded apps will provide insight into the "power hours," when in the day wearers have the most productivity - with companies using this research for their benefit.
"2014 has been the year that the wearables market has really exploded and broken into the mainstream consciousness," noted Roger Enright, Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland Product Director of IT & Mobile, in a public statement.
This is a unique opportunity for companies to benefit from their employees wearing connected devices - which will be a growing trend in 2015 and beyond, analysts predict.
Pebble's Smartwatch offering has been rated by many as one of the best products on the currently booming market, with improvements said to come very soon in the form of Android Wear capabilities. Their latest beta version of the Pebble app has Android Wear compatibility installed, meaning you'll be able to act on notifications directly through your watchface.
Some of the useful tasks include things such as archiving emails through the watch-face or other simple things such as re-tweeting your mentions on Twitter. There has been no mention of voice commands, but it's still early days of operation and compatibility with this useful service.
TAG Heuer plans to jump into the smartwatch market to compete with Apple and other competitors, as the wearable market accelerates. The company started on its wearables industry about four months ago, creating several partnerships, while also exploring potential acquisitions. TAG Heuer plans to wait until it has a working product to present to the public, which could take until late 2015 at the soonest, the company says.
"Smartwatches represent a challenge to the Swiss watch industry that is comparable to the appearance of quartz technology," said Guy Semon, Tag Heuer general manager. "We cannot ignore this tsunami that is coming closer."
The smartwatch market should increase in popularity next year, as more tech companies and watchmakers dive into wearables.
Fitbit denies the materials that compose its Charge fitness wearables are behind reports of skin irritation. Fitbit has told customers they shouldn't be worried about Charge, with a small number out of thousands users complaining of any skin irritation - but after a large number of reports related to the company's Force, there is increased concern.
The Force wearable was held together with an adhesive that was behind the wearable discomfort, but Fitbit switched things up and started using screws to hold the housing and band together.
"The reactions we are seeing with Charge are not uncommon with jewelry or wearable devices that stay in contact with the skin for extended periods," Fitbit said in a statement to TODAY. "According to our consulting dermatologists, they are likely from sweat, water, or soap being held against the skin under the device, or from pressure or friction against the skin and should resolve quickly when users take a break from the device, usually within hours or days."