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Wearables: Mapping the Path from "Interesting Niche" to "Credible Product Category"

Ian Ferguson, Vice President, Segment Marketing, ARM Holdings, Inc.

Recently, I was lucky enough to be invited to sit on a panel focused on the opportunity for the use of wearables by the poorest three people on this planet.

As I sat on this panel, I reflected on the use cases that would enable mass-market deployment of wearables, coupled with the technical and business challenges that prevent those use cases from becoming reality. Eighteen months ago, our industry was barely discussing this space and now many commentators are dismissing it as a pure niche play, but I am highly excited about the prospects for this product category.

For my viewpoint to become justified, let us look at use cases. I work in the technology field and yet I do not wear anything on my wrist. Sure, I know many families whose lives have positively changed due to the inclusion of fitness products in their daily lives. The number of steps walked has become a competition in the household……that has to be good.

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Rising to the Semiconductor- and System-Design Challenges in the Wearables Era

Lip-Bu Tan, President and CEO, Cadence Design Systems Inc.

Earlier this year, to stay on top of end markets, I traveled to Las Vegas and spent two days walking around the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). As I did, I thought about my FitBit and how much data it would capture over all the ground I covered.

I reflected on the engineering that’s enabled that type of wearable technology in just a few short years and transformed how we think daily about our health.

At CES, I saw so many wearable technologies, both in booths and on people (a lot of Google Glass!). We live in an age in which a small device on our wrist can tell us to sleep or hydrate more. We can watch—in the palm of our hand—live-streaming video of a man leaping from the edge of space to Earth and track how his body is reacting on its way down.

Sixty years of tireless semiconductor, software and systems engineering effort has gotten us here, and will propel us into the future.

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GSA Forum: Vol. 20 No. 2 June 2014
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