Wearable devices will be one of the hottest gadgets in the Christmas market this year, helping drive sales to almost five million before the end of 2014.
Figures from YouGov found that 2.8 million people currently own a piece of wearable technology, ranging from Samsung smartwatches to fitness bands such as the FitBit or Basis, now owned by Intel.
Wearable ownership will rise to 4.7 million by the end of the year as the Christmas period sees many more devices bought as gifts. This will continue over 2015 to reach 6.1 million, when smartwatches such as the Apple Watch become available.
Despite the growth this will still represent just 13 percent of the market, meaning there is still plenty of opportunity for wearable manufacturers in the years ahead.
Fitness devices are the most popular wearables, owned by three percent of the population. By comparison only one percent of devices are smartwatches.
However, future buying patterns are changing. Four in 10 future buyers intend to get a smartwatch, compared with three in 10 for fitness bands.
Russell Feldman, director of digital, media and technology at YouGov, said the figures proved that the hype around wearables will start to become reality in the months ahead.
“Wearable devices have been talked about as 'the next big thing' in tech for a while now. Our figures suggest that the coming year is the time when the devices finally start to gain traction among a wider consumer audience,” he said.
"The Christmas period will mark the moment the category finally moves from the niche to the mainstream.”
The results are based on a survey of 2,561 adults, 447 of whom already owned wearable devices.
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