Huge growth ahead for mobile sensing wearables

A new report that polled 1,050-plus consumers, developers, suppliers and manufacturers on mobile sensing wearable devices revealed big trends for the market over the next five years.

Research firm ON World expects the devices will create a $50 billion industry with 700 million wearable devices shipped in the global market by 2018, and with hardware accounting for the majority of revenue initially. However, revenue from monitoring services, apps and subscriptions will grow faster and soon overtake hardware revenue, according to the report.

The report also predicts that smartwatches, smart glasses and personal sensors will soon beat out the current popular sports and fitness mHealth devices, and will account for two-thirds of that market revenue.

Apple's iWatch is described as the "most preferred" wearable, although it is not yet on the market. The top five smartwatch leaders as of 2013, according to the report, were Samsung, Nike, Pebble, Sony and Garmin. Announcement