Wearable devices years away from mainstream: Microsoft exec

Wearable devices years away from mainstream: Microsoft exec

2013-10-30

Consumers and businesses will have to wait a few more years before wearable computing devices become widely available, a senior executive of the software giant Microsoft said on Tuesday at the 11th annual Global Views Business Forum in Taipei. “I think wearable devices require more time, maybe three to five years in development, before they can become mainstream,” said Zhang Ya-qin, Microsoft corporate vice president and chairman of the company’s Asia-Pacific research group.“We expect to see a lot of try-outs of the devices in the coming years, in forms that include watches and eyeglasses,” he said in a panel discussion.

According to long-term forecasts, however, the volume of wearable devices will be 10 times the shipments of current mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet PCs, Zhang said.

This indicates great potential for companies to tap into the cloud computing business, he said days after it was reported that Microsoft was testing prototypes for web-connected eyewear devices to compete against Google Glass.

The US software company has asked several component makers in Asia to supply cameras and other key components to produce the prototypes, which might never enter mass production, the Wall Street Journal reported on Oct. 22, citing sources familiar with the project.

Wearable device revenues are forecast to grow to US$6 billion by 2018, with estimated annual shipments of 485 million units, according to the market research firm ABI Research.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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