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Outlook for wearable gadgets declines

5 months 2 weeks 3 days ago January 03, 2017 Jan 3, 2017 Tuesday, January 03 2017 January 03, 2017 4:11 PM in News
Source: Associated Press

LAS VEGAS - Neither the holiday season nor New Year's fitness resolutions seem to be helping wearable gadgets break into the mainstream.

Research firm eMarketer has lowered its outlook for smartwatches and fitness trackers such as the Apple Watch and Fitbits. It's not that the craze has died down - it's more like there never was one to begin with.

The research comes as gadget makers large and small prepare to unveil new wearable devices at the CES tech show in Las Vegas this week.

In October 2015, eMarketer expected wearable gadget to grow more than 60 percent among U.S. adults in 2016. That's now down to less than 25 percent. While fitness trackers are relatively cheap and straightforward to use, eMarketer says smartwatches haven't caught on because they are expensive and lack a well-defined purpose.

But multinational corporations - no, really - could save the day. Gartner predicts that by 2019, nearly all big employers will encourage the use of fitness trackers to "improve corporate performance." Big Brother, apparently, won't just be watching, but tracking your steps.

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