Any sufficiently advanced technology is equivalent to magic. – Arthur C. Clarke (Author)
If you thought the age of wearable technologies (wearables) is passe. Think again. Coz the market is ripe with rumors about a fabulous comeback of the wearable technologies with a bang.
A new report published on the official website of the International Data Corporation (IDC), global wearables market are expected to double by 2021. The IDC forecast says vendors will ship around 125.5 million wearable devices in 2017 alone – a significant bump of 20.4% as compared to 104.3 million units shipped in 2016.
The wearable markets will continue its forward march to reach a 240.1 million figure by 2021 that would result in a 5-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.2%.
Ramon T. Llamas, a research manager at IDC’s Wearable arm, has said that digital assistants, connections, and connectivity to larger systems from 2nd-generation and 3rd generation devices will be more functional, both at home and work and will make today’s gadgets obsolete.
Top 4 wearables to watch out for in 2017
- Wristbands – The wristbands ruled the wearables market but they’d lose their steam in the future. The wristband market experienced some hiccups in 2016 and it may continue to perform poorly in 2017 as well. However, there could be a proliferation of affordable devices with good features that will cater to the mass market. Users are expected to accept wearables because of their extra utility and multi-tasking capabilities.
- Watches – During the entire forecast period, the total number of watches shipped will take up the lion’s share of the wearable technology market. Conventional watches – the basic ones that don’t run any kind of third party applications like fitness/GPS watches, hybrid watches, and many kid watches, will post far better performance than smartwatches (such as Apple Watch, Samsung Gear, and all the Android Wearables). The reason is many conventional watchmakers have upped the ante against the smartwatch companies as they have started using their resources to build more and more hybrid watches. As a result, it’ll create higher TAM every year. But, smart watches will keep growing in leaps and bounds as cellular connectivity grows further.
- Clothing – The smart clothing market has started making its presence felt, especially in China. A number of Chinese vendors have begun delivering smart clothings like shirts, shoes, belts, socks, and other connected clothes. Right now consumers are wary of using connected clothing but professional athletes and some organizations have started using these garments to improve their on-field performance. The good news is that Google and Levi’s are releasing their first jointly developed, Jacquard-enabled jacket to break the mass apprehension.
- Earwear – Don’t expect to hear anything about the Bluetooth headsets here that can only help you make and receive voice calls. The wearable technology market is vying for more sophisticated, more functional and smarter gadgets that can send information back and forth to any smartphone application. Take, for instance, Samsung Icon X, Bragi’s Dash and so on that would provide real-time audio filtering or language translation, besides collecting fitness data of the consumers.
Apart from the above, latest wearables like non-AR/VR eyewear, clip-on devices, etc will hit the technology market across the globe.