Wearable computing devices are just starting to see their day in the sun, and IDC is projecting that 2014 will see combined shipments from all the involved manufacturers of 19.2 million devices. That's including smartwatches like the Pebble and Galaxy Gear lines, as well as fitness bands like those from FitBit and Nike.
Nineteen million is a pretty good number, but IDC expects that number to explode b 2018 to 111.9 million units. That's a nearly 6-fold increase over this year's projections. There's no doubt that more and more are getting involved in the wearables arena. Samsung's recently-launched Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit and the long-rumored Apple iWatch are sure to capture a majority of the attention, but even smaller players like Pebble and Fitbit will see their boats lifted by the rising tide.
Of course, things that strap to your wrist aren't the only category of wearables. While it's sure to remain a niche product for a while, products like Google Glass are also primed for rapid expansion in the coming years, assuming that prices can be brought down while functionality and portability are improved. This will be an especially important trend in business, as IDC notes that "it is not a question of "if," but "when" wearables as a whole will extend into the enterprise."