Wearable electronic devices are integrated with highly developed electronic technologies attached or worn to the human body allowing mobile computing and wireless networking. They work simultaneously with human actions and are connected to smart applications in a network. This technology has possible for growth as it makes daily tasks easier and enhances customer experience. Increased popularity of numerous applications served such as advertising, infotainment, running (navigation) and cycling, surgery, label reader, telemedicine, accessing patient records, project planning, sports brain, remote patient monitoring and among others. The use of cloud computing and Internet of Things (IoT) is also anticipated to enhance the market growth. These technologies are used for remote track incidents like mountain expeditions, natural disasters, etc. Lack of privacy and high costs are some of the factors that restrain market growth.
Depending on the body parts and wearable technology, the market is segmented into finger & wrist wear, body wear, eye wear, neck wear, foot wear and others. The devices under finger & wrist wear segment are smart watches smart rings and wrist bands among others. These devices are able of tracking the patient’s heart rate, activity level, sleep pattern, calories burned, and they are integrated with smart phones where patient can receive and make phone calls. The eye wear category includes devices such as eye tap, smart glasses, and contact lenses among others. Eye taps are fitted with camera that records the sight available and superimposes the original scene. Smart glasses help user in tracking distance, translation, sending messages, navigation, taking videos and pictures and many other functions. The foot wear segment includes smart anklets, smart socks and smart shoes among others. These are mainly used for fitness-tracking. Smart textiles consists the body wear category. These are fabrics which allow electronics and digital components to be fixed in them that offer several purposes such as sports training data acquisition, location tracking and health monitoring. Additionally, applications such as recording changes in the environment, monitoring, sensing and influencing are also made achievable by smart textiles.
Major applications include medical & healthcare, consumer applications, military and industrial sectors. Consumer applications are categorized into media & infotainment and sports & fitness. Devices such as heart rate monitors, activity monitors, smart glasses, smart textiles, smart clothing and smart watches enable users in tracking of different parameters such as total calories burnt, total distance covered, heart rate and blood pressure which are essential for maintaining health. Imaging products, head-up displays and Bluetooth headsets aid in infotainment and multimedia purposes. Medical and Healthcare applications are facilitated by devices such as insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitoring, blood pressure monitors, hearing aids and ECG monitors among others. Wearable technology is broadly used in industrial applications such as enterprise applications, warehouse & packaging, and logistics applications. In military applications, heads-up display, smart clothing and hand-worn terminals, offer effective utility.
North is expected to grow considerably over the forecasted period owing to technological developments in this region. Asia Pacific accounts for the major market share due to increasing investments in communication technologies and technological developments in Korea, China and Japan. Less production cost in China and India is estimated to enhance market demand in APAC region. The U.K and Germany lead the market in Europe owing to increasing demand of wearable technology.
The key market players in the wearable technology include BodyMedia, Adidas AG, Fitbit, Timex Group USA Inc., Jawbone, Oregon Scientific and Nike IncBeurer among others. Major players in the infotainment sector include Sony Corp., Samsung, LG Corp., Motorola, Qualcomm, Google Inc., Martian, Pebble and GoPro among others. Major players in the medical & health sector include Dexcom, Medtronic, Cardionet, Alive Technologies, Abbot and LifeWatch among others.
Research Support Specialist, USA