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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Wireless IoT Applications within Industrial Automation

The technologies associated with the internet of things (IoT) and machine to machine (M2M) connectivity are enabling a new wave of wireless networking applications within the industrial automation sector.

According to the latest global market study by Berg Insight, annual shipments of wireless devices for industrial automation applications reached 4.6 million units worldwide in 2018, accounting for approximately 6 percent of all new connected nodes.

Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.3 percent, annual shipments are expected to reach 9.9 million in 2023. Moreover, the installed base of wireless IoT devices in industrial automation applications reached 21.3 million units in 2018.

Industrial Automation Market Development

While wired networking solutions are still predominantly used for industrial communications between sensors, controllers and systems, wireless solutions have gained a strong foothold in a number of applications.

Wireless solutions are used for wire replacement in parts of the plant that are hard to reach or uneconomical to connect through wired installations. In factory automation, wireless solutions are widely used to control cranes and automated guided vehicles (AGVs) in material handling applications.

In process automation, wireless technologies are increasingly used to connect instruments, enabling plant operators to monitor and optimize processes in hazardous areas, while also ensuring worker safety.

Leading systems vendors of wired industrial network equipment also offer wireless solutions to enable customers to monitor and control devices wirelessly in parts of the plant that are normally not connected to the control room due to accessibility or wiring costs.

These vendors include Siemens, Cisco, Belden, Moxa and Phoenix Contact, which all offer comprehensive portfolios of industrial wireless devices such as routers, gateways and wireless access points along with their wired solutions.

Industrial wireless solutions are also offered by many mid and small-sized companies, which often specialise in specific product categories. Wireless I/O and field devices are provided by the major industrial automation vendors including Emerson, Yokogawa, Honeywell, ABB, Schneider Electric, Siemens, Endress+Hauser and Pepperl+Fuchs.

"Robust connectivity is critical to support industrial IoT use cases surrounding predictive maintenance and digital twins," said Fredrik Stålbrand, IoT Analyst at Berg Insight.

According to the Berg assessment, Installation and maintenance of wireless solutions are more flexible and economical compared to wired technologies, enabling reconfigurable manufacturing system design.

Outlook for Wireless IoT Applications Growth

Although reliability and security remain a challenge, Wi-Fi has emerged as the most widely used wireless technology in industrial environments largely due to the wide availability of compatible hardware.

There is also a growing trend among large industrial companies to deploy private 4G LTE networks instead of using Wi-Fi and even wired solutions.

"The introduction of 5G cellular technologies broadens the addressable market for wireless communications even further as it allows for deployments in situations where requirements related to bandwidth, latency and capacity cannot be fulfilled today" concluded Mr. Stålbrand.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Hybrid Multi-Cloud Computing Investment Trends

As more enterprise CIOs and CTOs embrace hybrid multi-cloud deployment strategies, business technology vendors and cloud service providers must continue to evolve their go-to-market approach -- in recognition of the prevailing IT infrastructure investment trends.

Vendor revenue from sales of IT infrastructure products for cloud environments, including public and private cloud, grew 47.2 percent year-over-year in the third quarter of 2018 (3Q18), reaching $16.8 billion, according to the latest worldwide market study by International Data Corporation (IDC).

Cloud IT Infrastructure Market Development

IDC also raised its forecast for total spending (vendor revenue plus channel mark-up) on cloud IT infrastructure in 2018 to $65.2 billion, with year-over-year growth of 37.2 percent.

Quarterly spending on public cloud IT infrastructure has more than doubled in the past two years reaching $12.1 billion in 3Q18 and growing 56.1 percent year-over-year, while spending on private cloud infrastructure grew at half of this rate, 28.3 percent, reaching $4.7 billion.

Since 2013, when IDC started tracking IT infrastructure deployments in different environments, public cloud has represented the majority of spending on cloud IT infrastructure and IDC expects this share will peak at 68.8 percent with spending on public cloud infrastructure growing at an annual rate of 44.7 percent. Spending on private cloud will also grow 23.3 percent year-over-year in 2018.

In 3Q18, for the first time, quarterly vendor revenues from IT infrastructure product sales into cloud environments surpassed revenues from sales into traditional IT environments, accounting for 50.9 percent of the total worldwide IT infrastructure vendor revenues, up from 43.6 percent a year ago.

However, for the full year 2018, spending on cloud IT infrastructure will remain below the 50 percent mark at 47.4 percent. Spending on all three technology segments in cloud IT environments is forecast to deliver double-digit growth in 2018. Compute platforms will be the fastest growing at 59.1 percent, while spending on Ethernet switches and storage platforms will grow 18.5 percent and 20.4 percent, respectively.


The rate of growth for the traditional (non-cloud) IT infrastructure segment slowed down from the first half of the year to 14.8 percent, which is still exceptional for this market segment. For the full year, worldwide spending on traditional non-cloud IT infrastructure is expected to grow by 12.3 percent as the market goes through a technology refresh cycle, which will wind down by 2019.

By 2022, we expect that traditional non-cloud IT infrastructure will only represent 42.4 percent of total worldwide IT infrastructure spending (down from 52.6 percent in 2018). This share loss and the growing share of cloud environments in overall spending on IT infrastructure is common across all regions.

"The first three quarters of 2018 were exceptional for the IT Infrastructure market across all deployment environments and the increase in IT infrastructure investments by public cloud data centers was especially strong driven by the opening of new data centers and infrastructure refresh in existing data centers," said Natalya Yezhkova, research director at IDC.

All regions grew their cloud IT Infrastructure revenues by double digits in 3Q18. Revenue growth was the fastest in Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) (APeJ) at 62.6 percent year-over-year, with China growing at an even higher rate of 88.7 percent. Other regions among the fastest growing in 3Q18 included Japan (48.2 percent), USA (44.2 percent), and Canada (43.4 percent).

Outlook for Cloud IT Infrastructure Investment Growth

Long-term, IDC expects spending on cloud IT infrastructure to grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.3 percent, reaching $88.6 billion in 2022 and accounting for 57.6 percent of total IT infrastructure spend.

Public cloud data centers will account for 66.3 percent of this amount, growing at a 13.6 percent CAGR. Spending on private cloud infrastructure will grow at a CAGR of 12.6 percent.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

AI Drives Video Surveillance Applications Development

More CIOs and CTOs are exploring commercial applications for artificial intelligence (AI) use cases that enable the rapid analysis of vast amounts of video content, thereby creating demand for new digital video surveillance solutions.

As the video surveillance industry continues its transition toward IP camera systems with on-device analytics capabilities, savvy solution providers continue to offer connected products and services with vastly better value propositions than traditional, legacy analog video systems.

Video Surveillance Market Development

As a result, ABI Research now forecasts that enterprise video surveillance camera connections will top 348 million by 2023 and that these systems will generate value-added services revenues of $12 billion.

“Success within IoT is largely dependent on the ability of providers to create highly specialized, value-added solutions based upon clearly defined use cases supported by market demand,” said Ryan Harbison, research analyst at ABI Research.

Video surveillance vendors understand the value that this digital transformation can have on end-user experience and have largely focused on crafting end-to-end surveillance solutions that include everything from device components to analytics and professional services -- including the creation of Video Surveillance-as-a-Service (VSaaS) business models.

The VSaaS model was largely borne out of the need for providers to find new revenue opportunities as competition from Chinese camera manufacturers such as Hikvision and Dahua were driving down hardware profit margins.

Additionally, vendors realized there was substantial value in integrating video surveillance systems with other surveillance systems, such as access control and intruder alarms. Solution providers now offer extensive professional services, such as systems integration, device installation, and customized end-user solutions.

These services are critical across all deployments, and as a result, digital video surveillance professional services will generate worldwide revenues of $10 billion in 2023.

In the United States, there are additional opportunities for non-Chinese providers due to the U.S. government’s recent ban on video surveillance equipment from Chinese OEMs. American companies can utilize their extensive professional services offerings to help U.S. organizations transition from Chinese-banned equipment to compliant systems.

Outlook for Video Surveillance Apps

While a lot of attention in the video surveillance industry is on China’s camera equipment manufacturers, providers need to realize that for the most part, China buys Chinese products. In the short-term, solution providers should be focused on the U.S. market not only replacing Chinese OEM equipment but also identifying and selling new services.

"By focusing on the right solutions with the right value-added services to the right markets, video surveillance solution providers can maximize the opportunity in this competitive market,” Harbison concluded.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Fraud Detection & Prevention Secures Digital Payments

The digital payments arena is undergoing rapid change, owing to a combination of factors. Transactions are growing rapidly year-on-year as convenience improves, and regulatory changes help to drive adoption. Meanwhile, the scope of different payment types is increasing.

Traditionally, payments were made via Card Not Present (CNP) transactions, or through digital wallets such as PayPal. Presently, the wallet landscape has expanded dramatically since the early days of PayPal, while new pay-by-bank schemes such as SCT Inst in the EU, or Zelle in the U.S. market have created more choice for consumers.

Additionally, the banking world is becoming more open -- an API-driven world has created banking-as-a-service opportunities and enabled new financial service firms to enter the market as a result.

Digital Payments Market Development

According to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research, retailers across the globe are now forecast to lose $130 billion in digital CNP fraud between 2018 and 2023.

The study findings highlight that increasingly complex approaches by fraudsters, alongside retailers’ inertia in adapting to new fraud prevention requirements, would be key factors behind the increases in fraud transaction value.


Juniper's analyst claimed that as cybercriminals seek to monetize their knowledge to a wider, less tech-savvy audience, complex cross-channel fraud will become the ‘new normal’, with retailers ill-prepared to fight it.

Established point-of-sale (POS) vendors such as Verifone and Ingenico will therefore increasingly look to mPOS as an area for future growth, expanding their market reach to previously unaddressed markets.

"A layered Fraud Detection and Prevention (FDP) solution naturally helps to directly stop fraud, but it also offers major gains in terms of recovering potentially lost revenue through false positives. This is something about which retailers remain under-educated, and has allowed fraudsters to capitalize on relatively low FDP spend," said Steffen Sorrell, principal analyst at Juniper Research.

Outlook for FDP Applications Growth

Juniper found that the current retailer perception of FDP return on investment is hampering global FDP solutions spending. Juniper anticipates that digital payment companies will spend $9.6 billion annually on FDP solutions in 2023, although the bulk of growth over the forecast period is likely to be driven by financial institutions and payment service providers.

This situation is due to awareness of FDP benefits, as well as a requirement to deal with complex challenges such as open banking systems and instant payment mechanisms.

Friday, January 04, 2019

IoT Solutions Revenue Will Reach $745 Billion in 2019

Many new internet apps will be deployed during this year. Worldwide spending on the Internet of Things (IoT) is forecast to reach $745 billion in 2019, that's an increase of 15.4 percent over the $646 billion invested in 2018, according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC).

The next chapter of IoT is just beginning, with a shift from digitally enabling the physical world to automating and augmenting the human experience within the online world. Therefore, IDC expects global IoT spending will maintain a double-digit annual growth rate throughout the 2017-2022 forecast period and surpass the $1 trillion mark in 2022.

IoT Market Development

"Adoption of IoT is happening across industries, in governments, and in consumers' daily lives. We are increasingly observing how data generated by connected devices is helping businesses run more efficiently, gain insight into business processes, and make real-time decisions," said Carrie MacGillivray, vice president at IDC.

The industries that are forecast to spend the most on IoT solutions in 2019 are discrete manufacturing ($119 billion), process manufacturing ($78 billion), transportation ($71 billion), and utilities ($61 billion).

IoT spending among manufacturers will be largely focused on solutions that support manufacturing operations and production asset management. In transportation, more than half of IoT spending will go toward freight monitoring, followed by fleet management.

IoT spending in the utilities industry will be dominated by smart grids for electricity, gas, and water. The industries that will see the fastest compound annual growth rates (CAGR) over the five-year forecast period are insurance (17.1 percent), federal or central government (16.1 percent), and healthcare (15.4 percent).

Consumer IoT spending will reach $108 billion in 2019, making it the second largest industry segment. The leading consumer use cases will be related to the smart home, personal wellness, and connected vehicle infotainment.

Within the smart home, home automation and smart appliances will both experience strong spending growth over the forecast period and will help to make consumer the fastest growing industry segment overall with a five-year CAGR of 17.8 percent.

The IoT use cases that will see the greatest levels of investment in 2019 are driven by the industry spending leaders: manufacturing operations ($100 billion), production asset management ($44.2 billion), smart home ($44.1 billion), and freight monitoring ($41.7 billion).

The IoT use cases that will deliver the fastest growth over the forecast period highlight where other industries are making IoT investments. These include airport facility automation (transportation), electric vehicle charging (utilities), agriculture field monitoring (resource), bedside telemetry (healthcare), and in-store contextualized marketing (retail).

IoT services will be the largest technology category in 2019 with $258 billion going toward traditional IT and installation services, as well as non-traditional device and operational services. Hardware spending will be close behind at $250 billion led by more than $200 billion in module or sensor purchases.

IoT software spending will total $154 billion in 2019 and will see the fastest growth over the five-year forecast period with a CAGR of 16.6 percent. Services spending will also grow faster than overall IoT spending with a CAGR of 14.2 percent. IoT connectivity spending will total $83 billion in 2019.

Outlook for Regional IoT Applications Growth

The United States and China will be the global leaders for IoT spending in 2019 at $194 billion and $182 billion respectively. They will be followed by Japan ($65.4 billion), Germany ($35.5 billion), Korea ($25.7 billion), France ($25.6 billion), and the United Kingdom ($25.5 billion).

The countries that will see the fastest IoT spending growth over the forecast period are all located in Latin America: Mexico (28.3 percent CAGR), Colombia (24.9 percent CAGR), and Chile (23. percent CAGR).

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

How Deep Learning Improves Machine Vision in Factories

Factory automation is evolving, once again. Machine vision technology remains popular in the manufacturing environment, due to its proven track record of results. However, the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) technology and machine learning applications will transform many conventional factories.

The emergence of deep learning apps creates expanded capabilities and flexibility, leading to more cost efficiency and higher production yield. Deep learning-based machine vision techniques within smart manufacturing will experience a CAGR of 20 percent between 2017 and 2023, with revenue that will reach $34 billion by 2023, according to the latest market study by ABI Research.

Machine Vision Market Development 

Manufacturers need to improve their production yields and workflow efficiency. Legacy machine vision is easy to implement but is somewhat limited. Current solutions that are widely deployed in quality control, safety inspection, predictive maintenance, and industrial monitoring rely upon preprogrammed rules and criteria, supporting limited ranges of functions.

In contrast, AI deep learning-based machine vision is highly flexible due to its ability to be trained and improved using a new set of factory data, enabling manufacturers to incorporate updates and upgrade quickly.

"This is in part driven by the democratization of deep learning capabilities. The emergence of various open source AI frameworks -- such as TensorFlow, Caffe2, and MXNet -- lowers the barrier to entry for the adoption of deep learning-based machine vision," said Lian Jye Su, principal analyst at ABI Research.

These AI frameworks can be deployed using on-premise IT infrastructure and vendor software suites. In the past, the choice of machine vision solutions was limited to a handful of companies that performed relatively simple image processing operations. With deep learning-based machine vision, manufacturers can now develop their own deep learning-based machine vision systems.

In addition to cameras, deep learning-based machine vision can also incorporate data collected from various sensors, including LiDAR, radar, ultrasound, and magnetic field sensors. The rich set of data will provide further insight into other aspects of production processes.

Compared to conventional machine vision, which can only detect product defects and quality issues which can be defined by humans, deep learning algorithms can go even further. These AI algorithms can detect unexpected product defects, providing flexibility and valuable insights to manufacturers.

According to the ABI assessment, manufacturers are encouraged to work with a wide range of vendors, including industrial cloud platform, camera and sensor suppliers, and public cloud vendors. Deep learning-based machine vision requires a robust cloud platform that will enable condition-based monitoring, sensor data collection, and analytics.

Outlook for Machine Vision Application Growth

Unlike conventional machine vision which relies on line-by-line software coding, deep learning-based machine vision models can be deployed by users without significant developer experience, as these models undergo unsupervised learning based on data gathered.

"Manufacturers are opening up to adopting AI capabilities into their workflow. Deep learning-based machine vision will serve as the right catalyst to drive progress. Startups that launch as deep learning-based machine vision solution providers are also beginning to enable big data processing, process optimization, and yield analytics on their platform," concluded Su.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Mobile Wearables and Cloud Computing Apps Converge

Adoption of mobile internet access, combined with the development of innovative cloud services and wearable devices, has created a multitude of new consumer and business use cases that will drive demand, according to the latest worldwide market study by International Data Corporation (IDC).

Global shipments of wearable devices are forecast to reach 125.3 million units in 2018 -- that's up 8.5 percent from 2017. The growing popularity of smartwatches and greater wearables adoption in emerging markets will combine to produce a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11 percent with shipments jumping to 189.9 million units in 2022.

Wearables Market Development

"The transition from basic wearables to smart wearables will continue over the next five years as the two approach parity in terms of market share by 2022," said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst at IDC. "The rise of smart wearables will not just be in mature markets, but also from emerging markets in Asia-Pacific and elsewhere. Japan will play an equally important role as they consume more than one third of all smart wearables."

Among the smart wearable operating systems, Apple WatchOS will remain in the lead although its share will decline from 44.4 percent in 2018 to 35.8 percent in 2022 as other platforms gain traction. The second largest OS is expected to be Google Android with 22.4 percent share in 2022.

Android should not be confused with WearOS, as the open-source platform offers vendors an opportunity to customize the wearables' experience while creating differentiation. With Google's service being banned from China, many local brands have adopted this strategy and IDC anticipates the proliferation of these devices to continue in many neighboring countries as well.

Behind WatchOS and Android, WearOS will capture 19.8 percent share in 2022 as additional vendors begin to offer products and as the platform catches up to competitors in terms of features.

The remainder of the smart wearables landscape will be comprised of smaller platforms and vendors although IDC anticipates Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin to dominate with their proprietary platforms.

According to the IDC assessment, we should expect further new developments focusing on healthcare, with the smartwatch playing a critical role in tracking our health goals and detecting potential ailments.

Outlook for Wearables Application Growth

Watches are forecast to reach 72.8 million units in 2018 with smartwatches accounting for roughly two thirds of the total volume. Total watch shipments are expected to reach 120.2 million by 2022 with a CAGR of 13.3 percent.

Growth for the Wristband category will remain muted with a 0.3 percent CAGR from 2018 to 2022. However, it's important to note that this category will still account for 24.7 percent of the total market by 2022 with the total volume reaching 47 million.

Earwear, accounting for less than 2 percent of the market in 2018, is on track to capture a 6.8 percent share in 2022. Growth in this category is largely attributed to the disappearance of the traditional headphone jack on modern computing devices. Additionally, an increasing number of vendors are including biometric tracking into wireless headphones which will further help this category.

Friday, December 28, 2018

GPS and Internet of Things Enable New Tracking Apps

The emerging new applications of the global positioning system (GPS) and the internet of things (IoT) are only limited by a savvy vendor's imagination. Exploring the full potential of these enabling technologies is resulting in significant new upside revenue opportunities.

According to the latest market study by Berg Insight, the market for consumer GPS pet trackers and services in Europe and North America is forecast to grow from € 60 million in 2017 to reach about € 340 million in 2022.

GPS Tracking Market Development

The European market is slightly larger than the North American market. At the end of 2017, there were around 270,000 active pet tracking devices in Europe and 240,000 devices in North America.

The number of active pet trackers is estimated to grow at a compound average growth rate (CAGR) of 48 percent in Europe and 52 percent in North America, to reach around 1.9 million active units in each region at the end of the forecast period.

Annual shipments of pet trackers are estimated to grow from 180,000 units to 730,000 units in Europe and from 150,000 units to 820,000 units in North America between 2017–2022.

Pet locator devices address two major concerns for pet owners – preventing the pet from getting lost and helping the pet stay healthy. A recurring problem for pet owners is that pets sometimes run away.

By using a pet tracking device based on GPS and cellular mobile network technology, combined with a web application or smartphone software app, the pet can be located and brought back to the owner's home.

Several pet trackers now also include sensors for activity monitoring to provide health data and information on the pet’s wellbeing. The information can also be used to create an individual diet and nutrition plan.

The two leading vendors on the pet tracking market today are Tractive and Whistle Labs. Whistle Labs is only active in North America, while Tractive is mainly active in Europe. Whistle Labs was acquired by the major pet food manufacturer Mars Petcare in 2016.

Tractive has grown significantly in recent years and is now the largest vendor of pet trackers worldwide. Additional vendors of dedicated GPS pet tracking devices on the European and North American markets include CareWhere, Kippy, Pawtrack, Nuzzle, Pod Trackers, Suchmich and Wagz.

Outlook for GPS Tracker Application Growth

The potential market for pet trackers in Europe and North America is significant. There are close to 350 million cats and dogs in the two regions. North America is the largest region, where 66 percent of the households own at least one pet.

"A new generation of first-time pet owners is emerging that are more inclined to use technology and social media to share moments with their pets," said Martin Bäckman, IoT analyst at Berg Insight.

The pet tracking market is likely to show healthy growth in the next coming years thanks to better market visibility and on-going product development that drives down cost and size, as well as improves battery life.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Pharmaceutical Companies Explore New AI Applications

How can artificial intelligence (AI) technology improve traditional medicine? With 97 percent of all drug discovery programs reportedly failing, the development of a single new therapeutic involves an average cost of $2.6 billion. Helping to improve that process is a huge upside opportunity.

Today, the complex research framework that's involved in the discovery and development of new therapeutic products makes drug innovation an extremely laborious process, according to the latest worldwide market study by Frost & Sullivan.

Pharmaceutical AI Market Development

More than 60 percent of known diseases remain untreatable. Meanwhile, life sciences companies are making progress in the fields of gene and cell therapies, omics technologies, and smart molecules approaches, creating the need for advanced, cost-effective technologies that can parse large quantities of data.

"Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly recognizing the value of deploying AI-based platforms that can leverage data regarding gene mutations, protein targets, signaling pathways, disease events, and clinical trials to find hidden drug-disease correlations,” said Cecilia Van Cauwenberghe, senior analyst at Frost & Sullivan.

This technology will enable scientists to derive structured and unstructured data from multiple sources as never before. Moreover, strategic collaborations with IT vendors can help pharmaceutical companies establish a robust, AI-based pipeline as part of their portfolios and address new therapeutic areas.

AI-driven tools are encouraging companies to develop therapies for severely underserved areas and are also paving the way for precision medicine through a stratified therapeutics discovery and development approach.

Collaborations among database holders, AI developers, and drug manufacturers will facilitate the early development of multiple therapeutics, even those focused on treating rare and chronic diseases.

The leading companies are also empowered to make the most of scientific results and learning systems synergy to ensure a successful clinical translation of therapeutic, diagnostic, and theranostic developments. Some of the key applications of AI technologies in pharmaceuticals include:

  • Drug development: Aids in disease modeling, drug design and development, lead identification, and drug repurposing.
  • Candidates validation: Helps design and run pre-clinical trials, in silico/in vitro/in vivo studies, and investigational new drug (IND) process.
  • Clinical trials: Supports all processes, from designing the trial to patient identification through data collection, analysis, and report generation.
  • Regulatory approval: Facilitates the approval of application and process, labeling, and safety updates.
  • Precision medicine: Accelerates the development of preventive and personalized care, treatment surveillance, and omics adaptive models.

Outlook for Medical AI Application Growth

"Overall, there is a profound and growing scientific understanding of many metabolic and signaling pathways, especially at molecular and genomic levels, which encourages the use of sophisticated technologies to develop groundbreaking therapies," noted Van Cauwenberghe.

As the underlying causes of many diseases remain vague and imprecise, artificial intelligence-oriented approaches have emerged as the ideal mechanisms for finding novel treatments.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Hearables Will Revolutionize the Personal Audio Market

While the wearables trend began with the wristband device, sensor miniaturization has now progressed to a wide range of form factors. As an example, the 'hearable' or ear-based wearable device combines these sensor inputs and additional computing power with a variety of new use cases for the ear.

More miniaturization will help drive the capabilities of the market, as well as push hearables capability into the mid-tier device market. This sector is uniquely positioned, with more mainstream market pricing, to change both the wearables space and the existing ear-based device sector.

Being able to successfully navigate this evolving landscape will require both a clear vendor vision on what the sector can achieve and an awareness of what existing technology partners can bring to the market.

Hearables Market Development

According to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research, there will be an estimated 417 million hearables in use by 2022. This includes fitness-focused devices, hearing augmentation and purely audio-focused devices.

The new study found that more than 271 million audio-focused multimedia hearables from the likes of Apple, Bose, Google, Samsung and Sennheiser will be in use by 2022 -- that's compared to an estimated 62 million in 2018.

These will represent over 50 percent of all wireless headphones in use by 2022; reaching as high as 80 percent in the U.S. market. Apple's AirPods have emerged as a leader, with Juniper estimating around 24 million AirPods to have been shipped in 2018.


The analyst's research predicted that as mid-range and budget manufacturers leverage voice assistants to enhance their devices, over 75 percent of hearables in use will incorporate voice assistants by 2022.

"In some cases, voice assistants will be the only ‘hearable’ feature of these devices. Premium players need to provide other features to distinguish themselves, like advanced audio adjustments or innovative interfaces," said James Moar, research analyst at Juniper Research.

According to the Juniper assessment, the fitness segment has strong differentiation here, with custom assistants providing in-the-moment workout feedback, but these are only expected to make up 10 percent of hearables in use in 2022, thanks to their niche use case.

Outlook for Hearables Applications Growth

Assistive hearables will win on revenues -- generating over $40 billion annually by 2022, as hearing aids integrate mobile technologies and maintain medical industry prices.

Consumer assistive hearables are less expensive, which is proving appealing to healthcare institutions. Nuheara is one of the most successful companies here; distributing IQbuds BOOST through the NHS from 2019.

However, Juniper expects existing hearing aid players to maintain control of most medical distribution channels for the foreseeable future.