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Wearables market set to EXPLODE... Wait, is that a STRAP-ON chair?

It's not just wrist 'puters any more

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The wrist computer market has grown by almost 700 per cent this year, the brainy bods at Canalys have claimed.

The wearable band sector grew 684 per cent in the first half of 2014 compared with the first half of 2013, according to Canalys' latest device shipment estimates.

This could be only the start for this emerging market, because once Apple gets off its fat bum and finally releases the semi-mythical iWatch, sales of wearables are predicted to swell like a fatty on a binge.

To perform its analysis, Canalys split wearable tech into two categories: smart wearable bands, which can run third party software, and basic, which do not.

The analysis firm said that Samsung was the "worldwide leader" in the smart wearable band market during first half of 2014, after releasing the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit.

However, unless Samsung ups its game by selling more of the the gizmos it ships, Jones warned, it may have to resort to drastic discounting to keep shifting units.

Pebble came in at second position, while Sony scraped into third.

When it comes to dumb wearables, Fitbit and Jawbone are the leaders, achieving first and second place respectively. Nike managed to just do it, managing to grab the number three spot.

"The challenge all vendors face is keeping consumers engaged with the devices, 24 hours a day, seven days a week," said Canalys VP and principal analyst Chris Jones.

Seeing as most pieces of wearable tech are basically data-gobbling machines designed to track the user's every movement, this may strike you as a rather creepy statement.

Canalys analyst Daniel Matte said there were several key technical innovations which are key to the success of wearables.

"Smart wearable bands need tremendous advances across the entire component ecosystem to achieve multiple days of battery life," he said. "Smart wearable bands should not necessarily resemble watches, but should instead adhere to their own unique design constraints."

So what other pieces of exciting wearable tech can we expect to see? You'd better sit down for this piece of news, because the latest, greatest entrant to this burgeoning sector is a wearable chair.

Swiss startup Noonee has announced a device called the Chairless Chair, which will "bring forth a new era of wearable ergonomic leg devices".

It might look like something worn by polio victims, but its inventors claim it will help eliminate "micro breaks" at work by allowing staff to stand and sit whenever they like, without leaving their workspace.

"The Chairless Chair is a lightweight, power efficient mechatronic device that is worn on the legs," Noonee explained. "It allows the wearer/user to walk or run when it is not activated. However, once activated, the Chairless Chair uses a lightweight portable variable damper to engage and hold the users’ bodyweight, and thereby relieves the stress on leg muscles and joints. The user just needs to move into the desired pose, activate the Chairless Chair and profit from the provided posture support." ®

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