The wearable device market is expected to grow in value to $6 billion by 2016, according to a Korea Information Society Development Institute report published on Tuesday.
The report, which cited data from research firm IMS, noted that not only information technology companies such as Samsung Electronics, Apple and Google, but also sports apparel retailers such as Nike and Adidas had recently entered the market with innovative products and services.
KISDI predicted that the wearable device market would be dominated by Google’s Android operating system due to its opensource policy. Hardware powerhouse Samsung might compete with Google over market share, it added.
While the two companies could continue to maintain their partnership for wearable devices based on Google’s strength in content and Samsung’s in hardware, it remained unclear since Google recently acquired Motorola, the report said.
The institute also said there were several challenges to address for the wearable device market to take off.
“It is necessary to consider legal issues of how to deal with privacy invasion issues,” said Kim Dae-kun, a researcher at KISDI. Users of smart glasses can take photos and share them with others.
Hacking of stored images is another potential concern.
The report also recommended that medical laws related to wearable devices be amended. While remote treatment is legal in the United States, only exchanges between doctors are possible in Korea.
“It is necessary to discuss the relevant laws down the road considering the inconvenience for patients living long distances away,” Kim said.
By Shin Ji-hye (firstname.lastname@example.org)