Adoption of wearables in U.S. classrooms will supposedly grow at 46 percent annually till 2020, as more schools start to test virtual and augmented reality, fitness and location trackers.
Research firm Technavio says that like iPads, wearables will become commonplace in the classroom, providing students with ways to enhance their learning and have a more enriching experience.
Wrist wearables will take up 44 percent of the total market share by 2020, according to Technavio, with schools providing fitness trackers for physical education lessons and possibly location trackers for first year students, showing them a map to their next lesson.
Samsung, Apple, Fitbit, and Garmin will supposedly be the leading vendors for wrist wearables in schools, though we doubt many students will be given an Apple Watch or the latest Gear S2.
Going on a virtual class trip…in the classroom
While that sounds possible, virtual and augmented reality is most likely to become popular in the near future. The ability to take classes on “virtual trips” with Google’s Cardboard VR or display places like Machu Picchu or the Grand Canyon in 3D on a school desk could increase engagement in lessons and provide interactive learning to younger students.
It could also lead to more out-of-lesson education, as students test the virtual and augmented reality devices after school or during breaks.
Technavio sees the VR and AR market as fragmented, but claims that the major players should be able to consolidate their power by 2020. Regional vendors will find it “difficult to compete with them in terms of product quality, technology, and pricing.”
Microsoft, Facebook, and Google will most likely provide AR or VR headsets free of charge or with a big discount, to drive adoption amongst young people. The worry here is that once these technologies are commercialized, schools may not see the value of these devices, especially devices like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive VR, which are mainly marketed at gamers.