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Rapid demand projected for wearable technology

Posted: 10 Aug 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IHS? IMS Research? wearable technology? wellness application? sleep sensor?

According to the latest report from IHS, increasing demand for actionable, real-time data in various applications is driving strong demand for wearable technology. Last year, 14 million wearable devices were shipped, and by 2016, wearable technology will represent a minimum revenue opportunity of $6 billion, noted the market research firm.

Presently, wearable devices are concentrated around a few products mainly in the healthcare and medical, and fitness and wellness application areas. In these areas, there is a greater use-case for wearable technology in order to transmit data such as vital signs, and track user performance. Dominant wearable products here include continuous glucose monitors such as from Abbott and Medtronic, activity monitors such as Fitbit, Addidas miCoach and Nike Fuelband, and fitness and heart-rate monitors such as from Garmin, Polar and Suunto.

World Market for Wearable Technology C Revenues by Application C Mid-range Forecast
Source: IMS Research

By 2016, the penetration of wearable technology in a number of current product categories is projected to rapidly increase as a wide range of new wearable devices are developed. According to IMS Research, new product areas where wearable technology will have strong impact include smart watches, smart glasses, sleep sensors, industrial and military heads-up displays and hand-worn terminals.

"A $6 billion market in 2016 is our most conservative forecast which assumes that the adoption of wearable technology will be limited by factors including lack of suitable technology, poor user compliance and lack of an overall enhanced experience from devices that are wearable as compared to non-wearable products. In our mid-range and upside projections, product introductions such as Google's Smart Glasses and the rumored Apple Smart Watch come to fruition and are successful. In addition, an increasingly self-aware consumer seeks more and more data on their health and fitness, leading to even more rapid expansion in the market for wearable technology," said Theo Ahadome, senior analyst at IMS Research.

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