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2014 a good year for wearable tech: institute

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- As demand for PCs and notebooks dwindles and the growth potential of smartphones and tablets is expected to decline, wearable devices such as smart watches and bracelets are expected to take the market in 2014, a local research institute said yesterday.

The Industrial Economics and Knowledge Research Center (IEK) under the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI, 工研院) held a press conference yesterday to explore critical issues in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry today.

The IEK predicts a total shipment of 31.7 million smart watches and bracelets in 2014. As smartphones and other mobile devices become more prevalent, the IEK said that 2014 will be a year that witnesses "smart everywhere." The focus of development in the ICT industry will switch from the pursuit of "high efficiency" to the technical development of simplicity, stability, lightweight, durability and energy-conservation.

With the advance of technological development, industry players from mainland China have developed their own brands over the years. IEK forecast that another developing country, India, is slated to follow the same route to cultivate smartphone brands locally.

As the National Science Council recently launched a "Small Apple" project to cultivate an industry to focus on the development of various mobile devices for different niche market, IEK analyst Jeremy Tung (黃鍾明) said much depends on local businesses' cohesive cooperation to allow this endeavor bear fruit.

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