Human interaction with computing devices has quickly moved beyond the personal computer to include smartphones and tablets, and now stands on the brink of further diversification as the user interface moves closer to the body. Wearable computing is moving past the early adopter stage and the industry is beginning to see the first glimpses of how it will have a profound influence on the future of human interaction with technology. The wearables market is a mix of several different device categories, all of which are worn or attached to the body to serve a specific purpose. These wearables can serve a range of purposes from tracking health and wellbeing, to recording events, to simply providing informational notifications.
According to a new report from Tractica, the global wearable devices market will grow from 17.0 million device shipments in 2013 to 187.2 million units annually by 2020, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34%. The market intelligence firm forecasts that smart watches will experience the highest growth during the forecast period, with a strong surge in demand during 2015 followed by a healthy growth rate in the subsequent years. Meanwhile, shipments of fitness trackers will continue to grow, albeit at a slower pace as much of their functionality is subsumed by smart watches.
“One of the first mass-market consumer wearables, the Apple Watch, will hit the market in 2015,” says research director Aditya Kaul. “The wearables industry has lacked a true ‘hero’ device until now, and we believe that Apple will provide the momentum and scale to drive significant awareness and growth in the sector, just as it did previously for smartphones and tablets. However, the wearables market is bigger than just the smart watch category and Apple, with a long tail of applications and use cases emerging around enterprise, sports, industrial, healthcare, and public safety. Other key device categories include fitness trackers, wearable cameras, body sensors, smart glasses, and smart clothing.”
Tractica’s report, “Wearable Device Market Forecasts”, examines global market trends for wearable devices and presents 7-year market sizing and forecasts for device shipments and revenues during the period from 2013 through 2020. The comprehensive market model is segmented by device category including smart watches, fitness trackers, smart glasses, smart clothing, body sensors, wearable cameras, and other wearables such as location trackers, smart jewelry, and gesture control devices. The forecasts for each device type are also segmented by world region, application market, and connectivity technology. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.