ABI says that with a wave of new gadgets set to hit the consumer market, wearable devices could soon become the norm within five years. ABI also forecasts that the wearable computing device market will grow to 485 million annual device shipments by 2018. Reports Thursday say Apple made a patent filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in August 2011 that hints it's developing a flexible touch-screen device that fits around a user's wrist. Some analysts say an "iWatch" rollout will come this year, as IBD has reported. Google (GOOG), meanwhile, is launching an augmented-reality smart-glass product called Google Glass. "Apple's curved glass-based watch could prove to be a revelation in the wearable technologies market. The major question is whether the digital timepiece will act as a complimentary device to the company's iPhone smartphones or as a standalone product with other functionalities like health or activity tracking capabilities," Josh Flood, an analyst at ABI Research, said in the firm's report.