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商業 - 科技

2014年為什么還不是可穿戴設備年

Courtney Subramanian 2014年06月26日

調查顯示,75%的顧客都知道可穿戴技術,但只有9%的顧客有興趣使用它們。可穿戴設備仍然沒有得到社會的廣泛認可,大范圍普及依然面臨重重障礙。

????早在2008年,從測量心率到根據用戶情緒播放音樂等的一系列可穿戴技術就已經被吹捧為消費電子產品的下一個重要契機了。

????緊隨Fitbit和谷歌眼鏡(Google Glass)之后,許多公司開始蜂擁進入這一市場,帶來了許多裝有感應器的臂章、服飾以及眼鏡。這個領域現在炙手可熱,但最早使用這些設備的人們似乎都在等待那個時刻,讓他們不再顯得特立獨行。(你知道的,谷歌眼鏡的粉絲們現在有了個專門的貶義稱呼“Glasshole”。)

????盡管谷歌已經竭盡所能,那一刻卻依然還未到來。許多報告都聲稱,可穿戴設備將在2014年成為主流。不過來自數字研究公司L2的最新報告證實了許多人正在默默為之努力的一件事:可穿戴設備仍然沒有得到社會的廣泛接受,要擴大銷量依舊障礙重重。

????調查顯示,75%的顧客都知道可穿戴技術(無論是作為前衛的時尚潮流,還是新時代的技術工具),但是只有9%的顧客有興趣使用它們。根據調查,僅有2%的人表示自己擁有可穿戴設備,其中大部分都是健身追蹤器或智能手表。

????可穿戴設備通常分為三大類:像健身追蹤器這樣的復雜設備;像智能手表這樣的智能配件(由于它們可以運行第三方應用);還有像谷歌眼鏡這樣完全自主、可以直接聯網的智能可穿戴設備。

????人們對于可穿戴設備銷量的估計各不相同。研究公司IDC認為,這類設備今年的銷量將超過1,900萬件量,達到去年的三倍以上。到2018年,它的銷量將會達到1.119億件。瑞士信貸(Credit Suisse)預計,在接下來的2-4年中,這個行業的價值將會高達300億至500億美元。不過,在這一切實現之前,這個方興未艾的市場需要擺脫人們對于“穿戴這種設備就是出丑”的成見。

????今年六月,谷歌宣布與時尚設計師黛安?馮?芙絲汀寶合作,攜手推出新款谷歌眼鏡。這個舉措凸顯了硅谷當下的策略:招募時尚精英,賦予可穿戴設備以時尚內涵。

????這個系列的特制鏡框和太陽墨鏡以“DVF|為谷歌眼鏡設計”為標簽,價格高達1,600美元以上。迄今為止,谷歌已經和雷朋(Ray-Ban)眼鏡的生產商陸遜梯卡(Luxottica)以及其他幾家提供時尚眼鏡的公司如普拉達(Prada)等展開過合作。它還招募了曾在藝術網站Art.com擔任首席市場官的時尚總監艾維?羅斯來領導谷歌眼鏡團隊。

????在牽手其他領域的精英這一點上,谷歌并非獨家。今年早些時候,英特爾(Intel)便宣布與美國時尚設計師協會(Council of Fashion Designers of America,CFDA)和奢侈品零售商Opening Ceremony合作,設計智能手鐲。時尚品牌湯麗柏琦(Tory Burch)也與Fitbit攜手設計了與可穿戴技術創業公司Misfit Wearables的無線運動跟蹤器Shine Tracker類似的吊墜與手鐲。而蘋果(Apple)也發掘了各行各業的人才,包括博柏利(Burberry)前任首席執行官安吉拉?阿倫德茨(擔任零售主管)、伊夫?圣?洛朗(Yves Saint Laurent)前任首席執行官保羅?丹尼佛以及耐克(Nike)的前任設計主管本?謝弗。

????As early as 2008, wearable technology—which can range in anything from measuring your heart rate to curating music based on your mood—has been touted as the next big moment in consumer electronics.

????In the wake of the Fitbit and Google’s GOOG 0.26% Glass, a flurry of companies has flooded the market with iterations of sensor-laden armbands, apparel, and eyewear. It’s a buzzy category, but early adopters seem to be waiting for a moment when they are no longerthat guy. (You know. The “Glasshole.”)

????But that moment, try as Google might, has yet to come. Some reports have named 2014 as the year when wearable devices will hit the mainstream, but a newer study from L2, a digital research firm, confirms what many have been quietly fighting for: wearables are still not socially acceptable, creating a significant hurdle to further sales.

????According to the study, 75% of consumers are aware of wearable technology (whether as futuristic fashion or new-age tech tool), but only 9% actually have any interest in wearing it. A meager 2% admitted to owning a wearable tech device, most of which consist of fitness trackers and smart watches, according to the study.

????Wearables typically fall into three categories: complex devices such as fitness trackers; smart accessories such as smart watches, defined by their ability to run third-party applications; and fully autonomous smart wearables that connect directly to the Internet, such as Google’s Glass headset.

????Estimates vary, but the research firm IDC projects that wearable tech will exceed 19 million units this year—more than triple last year’s sales—and will soar to 111.9 million units by 2018. Credit Suisse values the industry at somewhere between $30 billion and $50 billion in the next two to four years. But before that happens, the nascent market has that pesky wouldn’t-be-caught-dead-wearing-it hurdle to clear.

????The June announcement of collaboration between Google and fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg to create a new line of Google Glass underscored Silicon Valley’s current strategy to enlist the fashion elite to sanction wearables as de rigueur.

????The line of prescriptive frames and sunglasses, named “DVF | Made for Glass,” costs upwards of $1,600. Google has already partnered with Luxottica, the eyewear conglomerate behind Ray-Ban and several high-fashion eyewear offerings such as Prada. It also hired fashion executive Ivy Ross, most recently the chief marketing officer of Art.com, to lead its Glass team.

????The company is hardly alone in its efforts to woo talent of a different sort. Earlier this year Intel announced a collaboration with the Council of Fashion Designers of America, or CFDA, kicking off a partnership with the high-concept retailer Opening Ceremony to design its smart bracelet. Tory Burch partnered with Fitbit to design pendants and bracelets akin to the Shine Tracker by Misfit Wearables. And Apple AAPL -1.03% has tapped a diverse group of people, including former Burberry chief executive Angela Ahrendts (to lead its retail efforts), former Yves Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve, and former Nike NKE -0.71% design director Ben Shaffer.

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