Nearly every major tech brand is trying its hand and wearable tech, and competition has never been tougher.
Unlike other areas of the tech industry, 2014 has seen a continuation of dominance from smaller brands such as Withings, Fitbit and Jawbone, but towards the end of the year, the bigger budgets of the status quo started to break through.
Essential reading: Best wearable tech of 2015
At Wareable we put our heads together and came up with the three tech brands that have excited us in 2014, and an overall winner of our wearable tech brand of the year.
Paul Lamkin - Editor in chief
Apple has certainly done more than any other brand to raise the profile of wearable tech in 2014, without even putting a product on sale. For the brands that do actually have devices in the shops, I've been impressed with Garmin. Not only has it continued to improve its already impressive Forerunner range this year, it's also added a pretty intriguing hybrid fitness tracker to the mix by way of the Vivosmart.
James Stables - Senior editor
"While Apple and Google have stolen the limelight this year, I'm plumping for Intel as my pick of this year's top brand for wearables. To describe its wearables strategy as scattergun would be an understatement, but it’s been responsible for some of 2014’s most memorable products. Firstly, it’s Intel MICA collaboration with Opening Ceremony showed what’s possible when fashion and technology team up, and its excellent Make It Wearable competition not only produced an insanely cool wearable drone, but also Blocks, which could end up transforming the way we think about wearable devices. "
Sophie Charara - Contributing editor
Apple supplied the headlines and Intel the silicon in 2014 but it was Google that showed the biggest commitment to wearable tech. The arrival of the flawed, but potentially brilliant, Android Wear, partnerships with fashion brands for Glass and its Cardboard kit for do-it-yourself VR all gave makers, manufacturers and developers something to work with. If anyone can create interfaces that work for wearables, it’s Google. Oh and on the side, Google X is creating contact lenses that can track glucose levels for diabetics. Of course it is.
When you look at the impact made in 2014, it's Google that's made the biggest splash. It not only unleashed its Android Wear platform, which has enabled some of the best smartwatches we've seen to date, but Google has also managed two updates, adding features such as music playback and GPS features.
Couple that with Google Glass, Google Fit and research into wearables to beat Parkinson's and cancer and it's clear that Google's innovation in the industry has unparalleled in 2014.