Wearables market projected to diversify, expand by 2018 [Infographic]

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Developing wearables doesn’t have to be the exclusive domain of genius tech engineers.

If you have the idea and know which audience you are addressing, there are just a few elements you have to think about while figuring out the best product fit.

The infographic below divides potential wearables users into four categories: the road warrior, the fitness junkie, the techno-chic, and finally the savvy granny.

While looking at the various types, it becomes clear that no matter what you are aiming to develop, it is important to make sure it is either beautiful to the eye, caters to a personal need, or connects users socially- or all three.

The market is growing larger in choices and opportunities, and promises to be very big despite a slow start. Juniper Research expects more than 130 million smart wearable devices to ship by 2018; global shipments of wearable "smart glasses" alone will reach 10 million each year by 2018, compared with an estimated 87,000 in 2013, reports Reuters.

When it comes to our region, if you are an aspiring entrepreneur with a passion for hardware, don’t hesitate. It’s easier than you might imagine.

Young Lebanese woman Hind Hobeika came up with the idea for Instabeat, a device that measures the performance of swimmers, when she was only 21. Two years later, she’s working with a Chinese manufacturer on the first batch to be tested by users.

Two more Lebanese entrepreneurs, Bassam Jalgha and Hassane Slaibi, have partnered with HAXLR8R, a hardware-focused startup accelerator based between San Francisco and Shenzhen, and moved to China to closely manage and monitor the production of their product, Roadie Tuner. Recently the startup met its $60,000 USD goal on Kickstarter.

The most popular of these mini-computers have so far mainly been strapped to a user's wrist or face. But, while following up with the large variety of wearables displayed at the CES in Las Vegas, we saw more devices created to be worn on other parts of the body, and not always built to quantify your moves or rate your steps. Some, like this Nestle bra that tweets to remind women about their breast cancer exam, are made to raise awareness or lead social campaigns.

Click on the infographic for a larger image.

Wearables Infographic

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