Wearable technology mainly concerns electronic devices, apparel and textiles. The wearable technology industry will see a five-fold growth from $14B today to over $70B in 2024. The dominant sector will be the merging of healthcare/medical and fitness/wellness sectors, which will exceed the infotainment sector.
Building on extensive research and publications for the most relevant emerging technologies in the wearable market, presents a detailed analysis of potentially disruptive materials and components that will dominate the market over the next decade (AAC examples of our disruptive skillset: Wire-Write®, die-attached and welding components).
With that said; unless wearables move into more useful functionality other than tracking your activity, wearables will be a niche product. Google Glass was a flop and the Apple Watch has not been that big a success yet (I have not seen a person wearing one). I have seen a Samsung watch wearer and a few Fitbits around capturing massive amounts of performance data however most data collected will probably never get used or analyzed. To date, prices are still high and functionality is limited.
IDTechEx maintain an extremely comprehensive database, profiling over 1200 companies across the entire wearables ecosystem. By constantly updating and growing this resource, it allows analysts to observe trends and identify opportunities for growth in this highly competitive field.
Companies that seek to profit in this industry need to:
- Be up-to-date with the large number of emerging technologies, new research and patents relevant to wearable devices,
- Understand the breadth of components that are currently available and specifications,
- Be aware of the competition and opportunities for collaborations in the industry,
- Recognize the global distribution of markets, retailers, and mfgrs.
- Be able to identify when products are being over-hyped,
- Keep up-to-date with latest developments within the ecosystem, especially regarding compatibility, new interface options and data analysis features relevant to the user.
Wearable technology mainly concerns apparel/textiles devices and with the largest number of big names such as Apple, Accenture, Adidas, Fujitsu, Nike, Philips, Reebok, Samsung, SAP and Roche behind the most promising new developments the market should grow. By the end of the coming decade, advanced informatics as wearable electronics will gain in the healthcare market new devices promises billions in sales potential. Disruptive new technology, in wearables, will begin to establish major sales in a few years with fashion, industrial, commercial and military applications creating the most demand.
The world’s largest electronics, software, services and medical companies are among the many giants competing for the so-called “new mobile phone”. Indeed, the biggest opportunity is medical/health/fitness addressing many of the biggest challenges in society today. Even software companies are saying, “hardware is the new software” because apps can be the intellectual property of the new hardware, such as sensing, energy harvesting, and new materials, may be more disruptive and easily protected.
The huge wearable technology market is now entering a rapid growth phase. IDTechEx has examined leading indicators of future wearable technology sales such as;
- relevant Google Trends,
- patent filings over the years,
- incidence of diabetes (treatment being a major sector of wearable technology already),
- cost reduction of the key enabling technologies,
- increases in functionality that is now becoming possible,
- and, initial sales of new smart wrist-wear such as watch and fitness monitors.