The weekend review: wearable computers, the future of RIM and low-power data servers

With earnings calls fresh on everyone’s minds, this week GigaOM Pro readers focused on research that looks at the near-term prospects for both future and legacy technologies. The market for wearable-computing devices — perhaps still bolstered by the splashy debut made by Google’s Project Glass at Google I/O this past June — proved to be an especially popular topic. And with the recent news that RIM has, once again, missed its quarterly earnings and delayed the release of the Blackberry 10 to next year, readers also focused on our latest analysis of the company’s current market position and potential prospects.

The most popular research content on GigaOM Pro this week was “The wearable-computing market: a global analysis,” Jody Ranck’s breakdown of the current and future prospects for wearable-computing devices. Ranck posits that we are “on the verge of wearables becoming mainstream devices in the coming years.” Although the mobile and health sectors will see the biggest impact over the next five years, Ranck looks at current and emerging wearable technologies that will resonate across the enterprise, disability technology, fashion, gaming and entertainment, and augmented-reality sectors.

Next, Derek Kerton provides a near-term outlook on RIM in “Research In Motion: future scenarios and its likely fate.” While RIM’s future as a consumer-device manufacturer seems nothing less than bleak, Kerton notes that new management, the much-anticipated release of the Blackberry 10 OS, and the company’s significant IP holdings could provide the company with an opportunity for a turnaround and transformation. Kerton combines these factors with the company’s past and potential future market performance to create a set of ranked likelihoods for both M&A and recovery scenarios.

Last, Adam Lesser takes a look at the carbon footprint of data-center-dependent giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook in “The case for low-power servers in the modern data center.” As data-center power consumption continues to rise, Lesser looks at the companies that are developing low-power chip and storage technologies that could help data centers reduce power costs and carbon emissions.

Also popular this week:

Takeaways from Facebook’s Q2 earnings call

How the cloud is disrupting the software-distribution channel

Scaling Hadoop clusters: the role of cluster management