The wearables device market is still in its infancy but it’s growing fast — with more than 17 million wearable bands forecast to ship this year, according to a new forecast by Canalys. It reckons 2014 will be the year that wearables become a “key consumer technology,” and is predicting the smart band segment alone will reach 8 million annual shipments, growing to more than 23 million units by 2015 and over 45 million by 2017. The analyst said shipments of both basic band wearables (aka the Fitbit) and smart band wearables (aka fully fledged smart watches that can run apps) grew dramatically in the second half of last year — with Fitbit pushing into the lead spot in the wearable band market, thanks to the affordable Flex and Force bands. Fitbit dominated the market for “basic bands,” according to Canalys’ market estimates, with more than 50 percent market share in the second half of the year. Read the full story at TechCrunch.