LONDON, December 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
The consumer wearable electronics segment - comprising wireless and smartwatches, activity trackers, wearable GPS, heart rate monitors and smartglasses - is experiencing a period of rapid growth with a forecast value of over $8 billion in 2013, according to the latest research from Futuresource Consulting.
"Many wearable devices are currently companion devices to other smart devices, in particular smartphones," says Oliver Rowntree, Research Analyst at Futuresource Consulting. "It's likely this will largely remain the case over the forecast period."
"Fitness devices are by far the most mature market, making up 97% of the projected value in 2013, though this will fall dramatically as smartwatch and smartglasses categories develop and products ship with embedded sensors that track and analyse movements and activity, cannibalising some the functionality of dedicated fitness products."
"The connected watch category will be the most significant growth area within wearable technology over the forecast period and Futuresource projects a combined wireless watch and smartwatch market of around 0.9 million units in 2013, with more than 60% of this accounted for by smartwatches."
Smartwatch growth will be driven by new entrants into the market, both from CE manufacturers - as companies such as Apple and LG move into smartwatches - and from watch companies which will integrate smart features into their devices.
Smartglasses are the least established wearable category covered in this new report, as no products are currently commercially available. Futuresource therefore anticipates that the market for smartglasses will first emerge in 2014, when Google Glass will be released.
According to the research, Futuresource forecasts that in 2014 there will be less than one million smartglasses sold, growing to almost seven million by 2017, with a total retail value closing in on two billion dollars. This assumes the entrance into the market of a large number of key CE brands by 2015, though uptake will initially be limited to a fairly niche, tech-savvy portion of consumers.
"One significant question with smartglasses is the degree of autonomy the devices will have - whether they will be devices that are paired with another or whether they will be standalone," says Rowntree. "Furthermore, unless wearable devices develop to fulfil much of the function of other devices such as smartphones, uptake will be more limited in emerging markets. As with specialist fitness wearables, without the functionality of smartphones they are relatively niche luxury products."
Looking at the bigger picture, the wearable electronics segment will continue to expand as consumer awareness and acceptance take hold, and Futuresource research pegs the market at a value of around $20 billion by 2017.
For more information on the Worldwide Wearable Technology Report from Futuresource Consulting or to make a purchase, get in touch with Simon Bryant, Head of CE at Futuresource Consulting, via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free Wearables Webinar
Futuresource will host a free webinar during CES 2014 - "Wearable Tech: How Big, How Soon?" takes place on Friday 10 January at 7:15am PST (15:15 GMT) and explores consumer uptake and industry opportunities for a range of wearable devices. Places are limited, for more information visit http://www.futuresource-consulting.com/futuresource-conferences-events.html.
Futuresource Consulting is a specialist research and knowledge-based consulting company, providing organisations with insight into consumer electronics, digital imaging, entertainment media, broadcast, storage media, education technology and IT. With a heritage stretching back to the 1980s, the company delivers in-depth analysis and forecasts on a global scale, advising on strategic positioning, market trends, competitive forces and technological developments. http://www.futuresource-consulting.com.
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