Wearable Technology development is focused any electronic products that are designed to be worn on the person. Over the last couple of years, vendors in the market for wearable devices have moved beyond the initial hype to describe practical uses that are enabled by software apps.
With the core wearable technology sectors now beginning to mature, IDTechEx has released their latest analysis of this diverse and growing industry in their "Wearable Technology 2016-2026" report.
Their latest worldwide study finds the market to be worth over $30 billion in 2016, with over $11 billion of that coming from newly popular products -- including smartwatches and fitness trackers.
Wearables Market Development Opportunities
However, despite the total market growing to over $150 billion by 2026, IDTechEx forecasts a pending shake-up in several prominent sectors -- with some commoditization impacting pricing and product form factors adapting to nascent opportunities.
The IDTechEx market study explored these trends in granular detail, including 39 separate forecast lines by product type and 60 formal company profiles and interviews compiled from primary research. Their resulting report also covers all of the industry trends that are driving innovation, demand and development.
They also describe emerging product application sectors -- including fitness & wellness, elite sportswear, healthcare & medical, infotainment, commercial, industrial, and military, among others.
Fueled by a frenzy of hype, funding and global interest, IDTechEx believes that wearable technology was catapulted to the top of the agenda for technology vendors spanning the entire value chain across the globe.
This investment manifested in hundreds of new products and extensive R&D investigating relevant technology areas. However, many companies are now progressing beyond discussing wearables to focus on the detailed and varied sub-sectors that have a multitude of potential new use cases.
Smartphones Central Role in Wearable Apps
According to the IDTechEx assessment, there's a compelling business case for standalone wearable communication devices -- as a future evolution of the smartphone.
Today, most smartwatches and many fitness trackers still rely, at least partially, on a connection to a smartphone hub. The ubiquity of the smartphone as a central platform has been a key enabler for growth in wearables so far, but all of the largest manufacturers now look to a future, where the hub itself may become the actual wearable.