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Wave of wearable gadgets expected at CES event
Companies are also expected to tweak the business models for wearable gadgetry as the devices become more mainstream. Fitness-focused wearables could one day help lower your health-care premiums if your insurer can verify your exercise regime. Always-on wristbands that know who you're with —and their preferences— could become vehicles for location-based restaurant advertising.
"I think you're going to see a lot of maturity in 2014 in the way companies think about their business," says J.P. Gownder, an analyst with Forrester Research.
Right now, the market is a swirling cauldron of ideas and products. Eventually, a winner may emerge.
Josh Flood, an analyst with ABI Research, says "the killer app" for a wearable product with the right mix of form, function and price "hasn't been identified yet."
Forrester's Gownder concurs. "It's a bit of a hype bubble," he says. "But so was the Internet in 1999."