London - The wearable device market is expected to hit over 150 billion US dollars in sales annually by 2027, according to new research from IDTechEx. New advancements in wearable technology are being fuelled by increasing global interest, leading to numerous companies investing in new product development, including the likes of Nike and Apple.
Fitness trackers, smartwatches and smart eyewear (including VR and AR) remain the leading products within the wearables market, although some of these products may face difficulties growing in the future. Take fitness trackers for example, which are able to measure body functions during moments of physical activity and share the gathered data with the user via their smartphone. Once the most popular wearable, the market for fitness tracker is reaching its saturation point. In addition, as smartwatches, such as the Apple Watch and the Motorola Moto 360, continue to catch up the capabilities offered by fitness trackers, fitness tracker companies are struggling to keep pace. Market fitness tracker leader Fitbit experience close to a 40 percent decrease in revenue over recent quarters, and Jawbone is currently undergoing liquidation.
However, Fitbit has managed to retain momentum after acquiring smartwatch company Pebble and expects its new smartwatch to deliver key results. “Our smartwatch, which we believe will deliver the best health and fitness experience in the category, is on track for delivery ahead of the holiday season and will drive a strong second half of the year,” said James Park, CEO of Fitbit in a statement in the company Q2 results. “In the long term, we are confident in our vision for the future and are uniquely positioned to succeed by leveraging our brand, community, and data to drive positive health outcomes.” Smartwatches and fitness trackers remain the largest segment for wearables, accounting for more than 80 percent of shipments in 2016, according to a report from Tractica.
However, their shared market segment is predicted to decrease down to 50 percent by 2022. Body sensors, which can also be used in smart clothing, are predicted to become the third largest wearable device segment by 2022. This development is likely to be driven by wearable patches used in healthcare applications, as body sensor shipments are estimated to reach 92.1 million by 2022. Health-focused applications are currently pushing the next phase of growth in wearables, which are moving outside of fitness and activity trackers to devices which can help prevent and manage chronic health conditions.
Photo: Fitibi, via website