Let’s talk markets before I jump into today’s article. You see headlines like this everywhere today.
World stocks inch towards all-time high.
When was the last time you talked to somebody, bull or bear, who was actually looking for a major pullback? Even the bears are bullish right now, no?
Volatility is gone. Hardly a pullback in years now. Who’s more scared right now, the bulls or the bears? Tell me your answer and I’ll tally the results.
Now onto today’s article, in which I peer into the future of wearables and ponder just how big a market they really will become.
Wearables are going to be so much bigger than anybody realizes. What you see and consider a “wearable computer” today isn’t what the Wearable Revolution is all about.
People hear the word wearable and they think of Fitbit or Samsung’s SmartWatch if they think of anything at all. I’ve used both products and they’re neat. But they’re far from revolutionary and I can see why most investors are ho-hum about the prospects of investing in wearables if that’s their knowledge of them.
Meanwhile, if you want to be a successful tech investor, you’ve got to get ahead of the technology curve, not just think linearly extrapolations from the technology you see around you right now.
It reminds me of when I used to do a Man-on-the-Street report for CNBC’s Kudlow & Company and I’d ask people about watching any video they ever wanted on demand from the cloud back in 2006. As I’d told Larry when we’d discussed the bit you can see here Cody Cam (Video), live on air, nobody had any idea what I was talking about. But I told him within a few years they sure would be familiar with watching TV from the cloud. Netflix, Hulu, et al, anyone?
So here’s what I want you to think about today, and we’ll call it out Investor’s Deep Thought of the Day too. Imagine the medical, health and training applications from having non-invasive wearable sensors on your body to track your blood, hormone, or whatever other levels you need tracked. It’s not even that far out there.
The University of New Mexico, where I proudly serve on the Alumni Board’s Finance Committee, is about to start testing a prototype sensor with thousands of microneedles that monitor a person’s blood levels and transmits the data to their smartphone.
Here’s a couple interesting articles about it.
The Real Wearable Tech to Get Excited About and Prototype Sensor May Cut Trips to the Doctor
And if, like me, you’re really interested in investing in and learning about how humans-wearing-computers/sensors is going to work in the future, here’s the original write up from the creators at Sandia Labs themselves.
Microneedle-Based Transdermal Sensor for On-Chip Potentiometric Determination of K,+.
The Wearable Revolution isn’t about Fitbit tracking how far your walk and how many calories you burn. And it’s not about a Smartwatch that tracks your heartbeart while letting you read your emails or talk on the phone.
It’s about health monitors. It’s about having a video recorder on you at all times if you so desire (and millions of people will desire such record-ability). It’s about keeping track of your kids and your pets (and your spouse, etc). It’s about logistics and data and streamlining efficiencies in your workforce. It’s about safety and accountability.
Wearables and what people do with them will change society. Invasion of privacy is going to be an ever bigger issue with wearables and drones and robots and their ability to track and keep data, video and other private information.
Some of the best plays on the future of wearables include:
1. Google. With Android and Google’s ubiquitous cloud presence in all of our lives via Gmail, YouTube, Search, etc, not to mention Google Glass itself, Google’s clearly got its eyes on the wearables prize(s).
2. Apple. Most every major wearable and the apps that run it will interaction with your iOS and/or Mac device via apps and sites. Apple’s iOS long ago hit critical mass and it won’t be losing it anytime soon.
3. Oracle. All those apps and all that data and information will be increasingly complex to manage. Oracle’s database is the de facto standard and best of for handling that kind of mess.
4. Sandisk. There will always be demand for local storage and the amount of storage demanded by these apps, smartphones, and wearables of the future will be huge. Huger than that. Ginormous.
5. Intel/Arm/Micron/etc. All those wearables will themselves require lots of chips, lots of processing power, lots of memory, etc.
The uses/marketplace/applications for wearables don’t even exist yet. The fitbit and the Nike wearables you see around today are like 8-track players before anybody had even invented the Walkman. People like to live better, longer and easier lives. That’s what the future of wearables promises to deliver. Get on board now before you look back in eight years and wonder why you didn’t see it coming like the people on my Cody Cam didn’t see the online video revolution coming eight years ago.
Finally, a note on stock splits and Apple’s stock split specifically.
I’ve got everything you need to know about the $AAPL stock split today. This is it: The split will help people work on their math skills, as they divide their cost basis by 7 and multiply their number of shares by 7. Stock splits are a waste of shareholder time, money and energy and are simply a matter of math. Move along, move along. Steady as she goes. I’ve been long $AAPL for more than a decade. Steady as she goes, split or no.