An Overview of Wearable Devices Industry with Reference to the Application Spectrum

April 10, 2018

Wearable devices industry, rapidly influenced by the ongoing IOT and advanced technology trends, has garnered commendable acclaim in the recent years. Wearable devices, a seamless blend of digital devices, electronic components, and advanced technologies, have established a reputation for delivering accurate and critical health records. In fact, wearables have been touted to become the world’s best-selling consumer electronics product after smartphones, which by extension is attributable to the tremendous growth the global wearable devices industry is poised to witness in the years ahead. Considering these promising trends, it is rather overt that wearables devices industry will lay the groundwork for a plethora of opportunities for tech companies.

Despite being at a nascent stage currently, wearable devices industry is touted to move considerably faster than its counterparts. Indeed, there are already a handful of top wearables making waves in this business space. Apple’s smartwatch for instance, is the most popular wearable device in the wristwear category, with global sales reaching 141 million units as of 2018. Fitbit has been another major in wearable devices industry bagging around 40% of the overall market share in 2014. Despite the strong foothold that these two majors have established, the global wearable devices market has also been observing commendable participation from tech giants including the likes of Google, Lenovo, Samsung, Garmin, Xiaomi, GoPro, and Pebble.

Enumerated below are a couple of the most influential application segments of wearable devices market that are poised to propel this business sphere to great heights.

Healthcare & personalized tracking

Wearable devices industry from healthcare applications has witnessed remarkable growth in the recent years, given that these components help in keeping track of several important parameters such as heart rate, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels. Quite overtly, these devices are playing a vital role in the healthcare and fitness sector by delivering 24x7 real-time health monitoring. Advanced sensor technology, smart AI algorithms, and miniaturization of hardware have enabled these wearable devices to be at the forefront in combating chronic conditions such diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. In consequence, this has not only had a remarkable influence on wearable devices market outlook but has also contributed toward generating viable growth avenues for this industry within the realm of healthcare and fitness.

Analysts deem that wearable technology has helped healthcare providers to monitor patient related data directly through the use of these devices in a rather hassle-free manner. With massive proliferation of wearables in the coming years, healthcare & fitness sectors will remain one of the largest segments in wearable devices industry in terms of both shipments and remuneration. The future growth opportunities in wearable devices market is likely to focus on the commercialization potential of skin patches, wireless computing earpiece or so-called hearables, electronic skins, and brainwave-reading technology.

Military & defense

It has been observed that wearables are now beginning to be widely adopted in the military & defense sectors, as a result of which the overall wearable devices industry is likely to pick up momentum in the coming years. Devices such as the smart glasses, sensor enabled rings, smart watches, and smart helmets are becoming popular amongst security and military troops to help generate daily reports and track real-time information. It would thus be ideal to state that the military, aerospace & defense sector will also emerge as a prime application arena for the wearable devices industry players. These participants are further anticipated to invest on the specific demand to enhance wearable device battery runtime of the wearable device battery and accuracy, which are the two most important parameters essential in this sector.  

Smart clothing & apparels

An increasing number of wearable devices market players are investing in the smart clothing segment to stay ahead of their peers. Companies including the likes of Under Armour have already introduced smart wearable running shoes and other products that can track distance, steps, and other multiple workout-related data. With smart clothing market shipments expected to surpass 24 million units by 2021, wearable devices industry size from smart clothing applications is bound to be commendably high.

Some of the other prominent sectors contributing their bit toward fueling wearable devices industry trends include retail, entertainment, fashion, and manufacturing. As wearable technology penetration increases in these sectors, retailers & manufacturers are expected to build a fully personalized experience for their customers based on the acutely defined data. Global wearable devices industry, despite having a robust application pipeline and product portfolio, is likely to face certain challenges such has high product costs, limited battery life, and data security. Nonetheless, powered by extensive investments and myriad R&D activities, wearable devices industry will traverse alongside a highly profitable path in the coming years.