This year is a watershed moment for the wearable technology industry, with more money expected to be spent this Christmas on devices like smartwatches and fitness trackers than ever before.

This is according to new research commissioned by technology giant Samsung, which says it expects spending on technology to wear on our wrists, heads and beyond to increase by 182% this Christmas, compared to the festive season last year.

In the UK alone, the firm forecasts that more than £100 million will be spent on wearables this Christmas, with more than a million units sold.

Andy Griffiths, president of Samsung UK & Ireland said: "The wearables market has exploded over the past 12 to 18-months with some incredibly exciting and innovative products entering the market.

Speaking about year-on-year sales, he added: "As the benefits wearable technology can offer become better understood, it is natural that the sales within this sector will grow and we are delighted to see predictions of 121% growth and sales reaching 395 million euro (£312m) in the UK alone by the end of this year.

"At Samsung, we are passionate about bringing to market products that enhance people's lives and hope that as we continue to innovate in the exciting wearables space that our products will continue to excite and engage people."

The Korean-based company has released multiple wearable technology devices in the last year, including the Galaxy Gear and Gear Fit, while rivals Apple will launch their first smartwatch in early 2015. The technology is increasingly being seen as fashionable, with the Apple Watch appearing on the cover of Vogue in China this month.

"Wearables have a key part to play in the future of fashion retail and this research today from Samsung underlines their potential to totally reinvent the sector," said William Kim, CEO of fashion brand AllSaints.

"The last decade has seen an evolution in verbal and written communication - today I have five ways I can instantly speak with anyone in the business whether in our atelier, our distribution centres or our global stores. The next decade will see an evolution of non-verbal communication - wearables and the internet of things will communicate information at a rate never before seen, allowing businesses to be more efficient and enabling greater emphasis on the customer experience. For AllSaints this is the truly exciting part."

[Related article: Why you should consider a smartwatch]

Consumers are keen on the health benefits that movement-tracking devices like smartwatches can do for them, and Samsung's research noted that the sales forecasts suggest fitness and activity tracking devices will be the most popular come Christmas.

According to the report, £29m of the Christmas 2014 wearable spend will be on devices that track movement, heart rate and calories burnt throughout the day.

The increasing popularity of wearables comes as questions over data privacy continue to grow, following the hacking of several websites as well as the celebrity nude photo scandal. Communications firm Zeno carried out research alongside London's Imperial College Business School and found that consumers, despite their concerns, seem willing to trade some privacy in the name of better wearable technology.

Like Samsung, Zeno's Wearable Privacy Report forecasts a steep increase in the popularity of wearables, predicting that by September 2015 more than six million people in the UK will own one. This comes despite 55% of those asked saying they did not want data gathered from their device to be shared with third parties - a practice that is common in technology.

However, more than 50% said they would be willing to share personal information in return for rewards.

Samsung's forecasts suggest almost £1 billion will be spent on smartwatches and activity monitors by the time 2014 ends, so the chances of one appearing under your Christmas this year are higher than ever.