More than 100 million smartwatches will be in use worldwide by 2019, with a host of premium brand launches over the next 12-18 months bringing the category into mainstream consumer consciousness, according to new research.\r\n\r\nAccording to a report by hi-tech market research company Juniper, differentiation between products is now shifting from hardware towards other features that allow new capabilities, such as GPS and payment using near-field communicaion (NFC) technology. 'Countdown to Smart Watch Success' argues that these functions are likely to become standard in the next few years, particularly as Apple has offered payment and NFC capability in its\u00a0Apple Watch.\r\n\r\nThe report also claims that the range of functionality available means that it is unlikely that a \u2018killer app\u2019 for smartwatches would evolve in the same way as has often happened with smartphones. It cites the example of Fitbit, which grew to dominance in the fitness space with a mantra of \u2018one size doesn\u2019t fit all\u2019, and varying device form factor. The report argues that, given the greater scope for development in smartwatches, the industry "should not expect a single capability to make or break the category".\r\n\r\nThe report said smartwatches will slowly gain more sales outlets as brands outside the technology sector, such as luxury watch maker TAG Heuer, enter the smart watch space. Furthermore, high functionality and premium branding means that the average smart watch price will remain above $200 until 2020 at the earliest.