Wearable technologies are expected to play a key role within IoT development, bringing useful information directly to the user. While you are still thinking, what is IoT wearables, you might already own one. Smartglasses, smartwatches, fitness trackers and clothing sensors all are examples of wearable items. As part of the use of IoT is to make everything more convenient and interconnected – and that’s not difficult to see why there are a lot of companies are looking into wearables. According to Yole’s 2015 technology & market report, Sensors for Wearable Electronics & Mobile Healthcare, the wearable industry was originally supposed to reach 295 million units by 2020, with a market value of US$95 billion.
Fitness trackers, in particular, are the leading consumer case for wearables because most consumers use wearable devices to record their exercise and health statistics and progress. While smartwatches will most likely take away a major portion of demand for fitness trackers, as these devices perform many of the same functions as fitness bands but carry a host of other features. Nevertheless, Fitbit has released a dozen wearable devices and became so successful that they filed their IPO for $358 million in 2015. And Apple, the global king of technology, released the first Apple Watch on April 24, 2015.
Accuracy will remain the top barrier of this advancement, as manufacturers must ensure that these devices transmit correct data so that users receive accurate progress reports. And as always, privacy concerns are of the utmost importance. Furthermore, the efficiency of data processing achieved by various smart wristwear, hearables, and smart glasses is gradually dispelling inert skepticism among the public and is getting closer to where wearables will bring exceptional value to our lives.
Apart from wearable technologies, two other IoT market segments should also drive this growth: healthcare and industry. The healthcare market (including hearing aids, blood pressure monitors, back monitor sensors, etc.) is expected to grow at a moderate rate. Regarding the industrial market, Yole announces steady growth through to 2019, with a significant uptick commencing in 2020.