If you don’t yet own a wearable, you soon will if the latest industry research is anything to go by. Smart devices for the body are one of the fastest growing markets in tech, but what does the future hold?
One of the fastest growing segments of the technology industry, wearables are rapidly hitting the mainstream. How much and how quickly depends on what you include into the category.
What is a wearable?
One of the issues is the term isn’t universally recognized. Apple, for instance, doesn’t use the term in any of its marketing materials and you’ll struggle to find it anywhere on its website.
Market research firm IDC classifies wearables as watches, wristbands, eyewear, smart clothing, and an "other" category. Together, they're expected to achieve sales of 101.9 million units by the end of this year, a 29 percent growth rate over 2015.
According to the report in PC Magazine, IDC acknowledges that the wearables market is somewhat incoherent and will likely change in the future.
The future of wearables
So, if you’re planning on entering the wearables market in the coming year, our best advice for you comes straight from the mouth of Canadian ice hockey legend Wayne Gretzky: “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”
In other words, you shouldn’t be thinking of smart watches or fitness trackers. Why? Because by 2020, IDC predicts the following compound annual growth rates for connected devices:
- Wristbands: 4.3%
- Smartwatches: 27.8%
- Eyewear: 201.2%
Think outside the box
When most people think wearables, they are still thinking of smart watches and fitness bands, but it’s smart clothing and tech-infused eyewear that will fuel the growth and interest in the market sector, along with the next generation of functionality.
Such devices are expected to transform certain job functions but also have the potential to be a hit in consumer markets. Thinking further ahead, electronic skin has the potential to be a complete game-changer in the medical world.
Look at the bigger picture. Are you playing where the puck is, or heading into the space where the puck is going to be?