A new report by Juniper Research found that shipments and adoption of smart glasses were slower than expected due to fewer ending up in the market.
The report, Smart Glasses: Consumer, Enterprise and Healthcare Strategies and Forecasts 2014-2019, estimated that shipments were unlikely to exceed 10 million per annum until 2018.
Juniper Research expects sales to be buoyed slightly by fresh releases by several key players in 2015-2016, including Samsung, Recon Instruments and the Microsoft-owned Osterhout Design Group.
The report thinks that greater utility within the enterprise and healthcare segments is likely to spur development until the devices catch on outside these markets.
Smart glasses continue to raise privacy and safety concerns from many consumers and government bodies. It argued that these need to be addressed or assuaged before the devices become accepted, although prices and their status as supplementary devices mean that smart glasses will remain niche for the medium-term.
According to the report, smart glasses development is at a comparable stage to smartphones in the early 2000s, primarily focused on the enterprise sector. As workplaces are likely to share devices between users, rather than purchase devices in bulk for all their employees, this will result in high investment but low shipment volumes to the enterprise for the next five years.