No, consumers are not, in fact, 'warming to the idea' of something they have no need for. The author, like most of the tech industry, is still mistaking hype for invention. Anything a smartwatch can do, my smartphone can do, with a screen that can hold more than four letters, and taking it from my pocket takes all of 200 milliseconds more than turning my wrist.
Neither do I need a smart refrigerator, smart toaster, or smart coffee mug. The 'next big thing' has to solve a real problem.
My prediction is collapsible displays, and possibly improved e-ink (low battery, fast refresh, colour). I have a smartphone, a kindle, and a 10" tablet. I want a single device that fits in my pocket, and expands to 10". Ideally it also doesn't hurt my eyes for long periods of reading; but most people don't read books, so that's not essential. I don't care how it does it—foldable, rollable, projection, smoke and mirrors—take your pick.
Ironically, once we have collapsible displays, we can put them in watches for smartphone/tablet size displays on your wrist. If it expands fast enough, smartwatches will actually solve a problem (+200ms read time) without absurd sacrifices, and may actually take off.
But unifying smartphones, tablets, and e-readers—that's the next big thing. I called it.