Enterprise-level wearable device shipments estimated to grow to 27.5 million by 2020


Wearables may still be an emerging niche in the present, but if a new report is to be believed, wearable devices will be largely adopted as smartphone substituents in the enterprise and industrial sectors over the next five years.

The report, coming from research firm Tractica, says that employees can be much more productive if they ditch their smartphones in favor of smartwatches and smartglasses during their work hours. The main driver behind this enhanced productivity are thought to be the voice commands, a feature that most wearable devices are based upon.

As with the consumer sector, wearable devices have yet to take off in the enterprise and industrial markets, with just 166,000 wearable devices estimated to have shipped in 2013. Looking into the future, Tractica believes that this number will grow to 27.5 million by 2020, which would correspond to an increase of 165,000 percent.

Despite what's obviously an encouraging estimate for wearable device manufacturers, Tractica also claims that a number of challenges lie ahead, such as the privacy issues associated with using smartglasses around sensitive company information. Another challenge that enterprises will have to overcome is represented by the safety issues that might arise when using wearable devices around dangerous machines and chemicals.

It remains to be seen if this report turns out to be accurate, although it will take a while before we can put these estimates to the test. What do you guys think, can wearable devices replace smartphones in the enterprise and industrial sectors?

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