By Max Wegner
Wearables or wearable technology devices are electronic gadgets that are designed to be easily and conveniently worn on the body. This technology typically offers scanning and sensory capability such as tracking of physiological function or biofeedback.
The Wearable technology segment is growing remarkably fast compared to others in the high-tech market, with reports suggesting a 173.3 percent increase in global wearable device shipments from 2014 to 2015, which translates to sales of over 72 million units. Assuming a CAGR increase of 42.6 percent, sales are expected to be over 150 million units in 2019 (according to a report by research firm IDC); or $31.27 billion by 2020 with a CAGR of 17.80 percent.
According to a report by the research firm (IDC), wrist-wear shipments are projected to grow by 20 million units per year until 2020, reaching sales of 120 million units. The report states that wrist-wear devices are the most common wearables, followed by smart eye-wear, which include Google Glass and Microsoft HoloLens.
Brands in the game
Players in the wearable technology segment are targeting products that can improve wellness and provide ubiquitous computing comfortably to users. The world’s largest software, electronics, medical, and services companies are among the many giant organisations competing in the wearable market.
It is evident that the biggest opportunity is in the fitness/healthcare field, where wearable devices are intended to combat some of the biggest problems faced today. For consumers, the growing interest in quantifying, monitoring, and improving health metrics has translated into a massive demand for fitness trackers and smartwatches.
In response, investors were expected to invest more than $1 billion to wearable technology startups focused in fitness and healthcare by the end of 2015 – according to market research report by PRNewswire.
Wearable devices, and fitness trackers in specific, offer a myriad of merits to professional athlete, amateur athletes, wellness programs, and fitness consumers. These benefits include:
Workout injury prevention
Player safety assessment tools
Physical condition and performance metrics
For instance, a golfer can wear a GPS wristband during practice sessions to monitor swing patterns and possibly improve swing mechanics.
Growth of the sector
But the wearables industry still has a long way to go before it becomes mainstream, or reaches the acceptance level of smartphones. According to a recent report, over 206.8 million tablets and 1.433 billion smartphones were sold in 2015, compared to only 78.1 million wearables in the same year. Estimates for 2016 wearable device sales are around 102 million items.
While this suggests massive growth of the wearable device industry, about 44 percent, smartphones will remain the top-selling personal consumer electronic product for a while.
Still, many big brands and startups continue to introduce new wearable fitness products in the market, targeting different regions and niches. Xiaomi, for instance, produces affordable wearable tech that has been largely accepted by the huge Chinese population, making it the second biggest seller of fitness trackers in the world after Fitbit.
Xiaomi has sold over 16.8 million Mi Band trackers; Fitbit over 36.7 million trackers; and Apple 14.7 million units of the Apple Watch at the end of second quarter of 2016.
For the full article visit The State of Fitness Trackers on appcessories.co.uk.