New research from the International Data Corporation shows significant growth in the Canadian wearables market even in just the last calendar year.

According to IDC Canada’s Canadian Wearable Device Forecast, 2015-2019, 1.4 million wearable devices will be shipped across the country by the end of the year. That’s up from just 905,000 units shipped in 2014.

While the noticeable spike in device demand can be attributed to multiple factors, new innovations in the field and hype around recent device releases have certainly positively affected these ever-growing numbers.

“The shipment changes for the consumer wearable device forecast in Canada are driven by evolution and innovations in form factors, the expanding functionalities of devices within the Internet of Things, the curation of apps for smart wearables, and new product launches and announcements” said Emily Taylor, senior analyst for Consumer Services and Mobility at IDC, in a statement.

What’s most astonishing is the exponential growth expected in the Canadian wearables market over the next five years. The report, the first of its kind from IDC Canada, shows annual compound growth of 32 per cent — which translates to a projected jump to 3.6 million units being shipped annually by 2019.

According to the research, “smart” wrist devices will dominate the market (and corresponding shipments) in the coming years, with eyewear as a close second as more manufacturers release their version of smart glasses into the consumer market.

The report also projects that eyewear and what’s known as self-data — or “people analytics” — to have potential applications for employee information. The research firm also lists other key areas of interest for enterprise-specific purposes to include hands-free applications, body and ambient awareness, and remote viewing.

While the influx of wearables has potential implications in both consumer and enterprise settings, the possible uses will only continue to evolve with the technology and the types of the devices.

“Innovation is important to grow the wearables market in Canada to its fullest potential and to show the real value wearable devices can bring,” Taylor said. “Disruption and even risk will be part of this growth. It will be very exciting to see how the market evolves over the next five years.”

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