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Friday, January 25, 2013

Next-Gen Wearable Market to Reach $1.5B by 2014

Results from the latest market study by Juniper Research indicates that there will be a total of almost 70 million smart wearable devices sold in 2017.

That market now includes smart glasses, health and fitness devices along with enterprise wearables, which is forecast to reach almost 15 million units shipped during 2013.

Juniper says that they anticipate 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.

Their latest report indicates that fitness and sports wearables, followed by healthcare devices, are forecast to dominate the market with a combined market share of over 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 amongst consumers will increase by 2017.

Their report also finds that the development of an application (app) ecosystem of independent developers 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 Nitin Bhas, senior analyst at Juniper Research.

The simultaneous development of an app ecosystem and wearable devices will integrate technologies, such as augmented reality, into human life more seamlessly.

Other key findings from the market study include:
  • The market will be dominated by North America and Western Europe, representing over 60 percent of the global wearable device sales.
  • Next-gen wearable devices market, including smart glasses, will be worth more than $1.5 billion by 2014, that's up from just $800 million this year.