Wearable device market in growth mode

January 18, 2013 in Medical Technology

Sales of mobile wearable devices, including health and fitness devices and smart glasses are expected to reach almost 70 million items by 2017, according to a new report from Juniper Research. The number compares with almost 15 million in sales in 2013.

Next-gen wearable devices market, including smart glasses, will be worth more than $1.5 billion by 2014, up from just $800 million this year. The market will be dominated by North America and Western Europe, representing more than 60 percent of the global wearable device sales, the research finds.

[See also: ONC calls for comments on mobile devices.]

Juniper foresees significant adoption towards the end of the forecast period, driven by the launch of augmented reality glasses and similar products from Google, Microsoft and Apple, according to its news release.

Fitness, health dominates market

The new Smart Wearable Devices: Fitness, Healthcare, Entertainment Enterprise 2012-2017 report indicates that fitness and sports wearables, followed by healthcare devices, are forecast to dominate the market with a combined market share of more than 80 percent in the final forecast year 2017. However, even though the number of fitness and sports devices bought per year is higher than the number of healthcare devices sold, the health sector will be slightly larger in terms of retail value due to higher price points.

The report further notes that as the retail price for smart glasses decline towards the end of the forecast period, the adoption level among consumers will increase by 2017.

[See also: ONC calls for comments on mobile devices.]

App development critical

The report finds that the development of an app-ecosystem for wearable devices is essential to create a platform for further broadening the role of wearable devices similar to the smartphone app ecosystem.

“The development of the smartphone/app store model has opened up new avenues for other segments within the market, such as the wearable device market, by combining mobility with an efficient method of software delivery,” said report author Nitin Bhas in a news release. “The simultaneous development of app-ecosystem and wearable devices will integrate technologies, such as augmented reality, into human life more seamlessly.”


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