Global Market for Wearable Computing Technologies and Applications
ELECTRONICS.CA PUBLICATIONS, the electronics industry market research and knowledge network, announces the availability of a new report entitled Wearable Computing Technologies, Applications and Global Markets
. The key market driver for wearable computing is the soaring global popularity of smartphones from manufacturers including Apple, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, HTC, Blackberry, Nokia and Microsoft. Last year nearly 700 million smartphones were shipped globally with the Apple iOS platform (~19%) and Google’s Android platform (~69%) accounting for the vast majority of market share. In terms of growth, the global market for smartphones increased by more than 40% annually to nearly $240 billion of revenues in 2012. The growth of the consumer market for wearables largely depends on how rapidly existing smartphone users will adopt wearable accessories and alternative devices to their smartphones.
Wearable computing purports to be the next big thing in consumer technology products. Wearable or body-borne computers enable hands-free mobile real-time data monitoring, logic calculation and network communication. Until now, wearable computing products, or “wearables” as they are becoming known, have been a fringe market of curious devices that have been impractical, bulky and unaesthetic for consumer applications. Traditional markets for wearable devices have primarily been focused on non-consumer niche applications including those in healthcare, defense/security, enterprise and industrial markets. However, recent advances in materials sciences, electronics, photonics and software are enabling a potentially vast range of new lightweight, wearable computing products to emerge. These technology advances are not only growing traditional non-consumer markets but are also enabling a number of new consumer applications to emerge. Wearables are poised to go mainstream.
Consumer applications including wearable cameras, activity trackers, smart clothing, smart glasses, smart watches, augmented reality and gaming are expected to explode onto the market over the next few years. The global market for wearable devices is still at a relatively nascent stage and was only around 20 million units (or $800 million) in 2012. However, key technology drivers are now enabling wearable devices to enter mainstream markets. The global wearable computing market is set to rapidly grow into a multi-billion dollar industry over the next year. Wearable computing devices have potential benefits for any environment where information or communication is desired, and the use of a hands-free interface is considered beneficial or essential. In addition to consumer products, many industry specific applications in markets such as defense, healthcare, manufacturing and mining are also emerging. The potential for wearables to transform many global consumer and non-consumer markets in previously unimaginable ways now appears very real.
However the market is so new and rapidly evolving that accurate market forecasting is difficult. Recent market research reports from various research analysts vary wildly in their predicted forecasts for the wearable computing market. Juniper Research recently forecast market revenues to exceed $19 billion by 2018. In stark contrast, ABI Research recently forecast a $6 billion market size by 2018 while Credit Suisse forecast a market size of $30 billion in five years. Such major discrepancies between the various revenue forecasts can largely be attributed to differences in the definitions of product categories and market segments by the various analysts. This report is intended to be a more comprehensive and inclusive evaluation of all major product types and market segments across the entire wearable computing landscape.