If you think wearable devices are hot now, just wait until 2018. In fact, it’s hard to open a browser these days without seeing more news about wearables—what’s new, what’s exciting, what may be coming next. The latest research further suggests sheer consumer demand will lead companies to give the world what it wants: more wearables.

CCS Insight, www.ccsinsight.com, a global analyst company that focuses on mobile communications and the Internet, released the results of a survey that suggests shipments of wearable devices will reach 22 million by the end of this year, which the company says is an increase of 129% from 2013. Looking a bit further out, CCS says global shipments will hit 135 million by 2018.

Though it’s no news that the market is a hotbed of growth and innovation, the idea that more than 250 million wearables could be in use by 2018 (CCS says this is 14 times more than 2013) is staggering. The global forecast also predicts wrist-worn devices such as smartwatches and smart bands will lead the way, accounting for 87% of the wearables shipped in 2018.

Interestingly, Marina Koytcheva, director of forecasting for CCS Insight, equates the current wearables market to the Stone Age. Harkening back to computers so large they filled an entire room and cellphones that looked more like bricks than portable devices, Koytcheva may have a valid point.

Besides expected growth in existing categories such as smartwatches and smart fitness and wellness bands, CCS foresees particular growth in standalone cellular wearable devices. As more startup companies race to bring their wearable ideas to market, and as rumors continue to swirl about game-changing wearable devices from the likes of Apple, only one aspect about the future of wearables is clear: it will be bright.

Keep an eye out for the December issue of Connected World magazine, which will feature the hottest wearable gifts for this holiday season.

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