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This report published by Berg Insight AB in December 2014, features a full analysis and industry insight for connected and smart wearables.
Wearables allow hands-free operation and multitasking, while still having immediate access to information. Body metrics, location and environmental data can also be recorded and analyzed. Connected wearables are being widely used in professional markets due to rapid smartphone adoption, cloud services, miniaturized hardware, sensor technology and low power wireless technology. Imaging, augmented reality, media playback, navigation, data display, authentication, gesture control, monitoring and communication are all uses that are driving the market. Smart watches, fitness and activity trackers, smart glasses, people monitoring devices, medical devices and wearable computers are being marketed in various segments such as infotainment and lifestyle, fitness and wellness, people monitoring and safety, medical and healthcare, enterprise and industrial as well as government and military.
The strong growth of the market is predicted to continue for many years. In 2014, it was estimated that 19 million wearables were shipped. With a compound annual growth rate of 54.7%, it is expected that this number will rise to 168 million by 2019. Currently, the most prominent use for these devices is for fitness and activity tracking, By 2019, this use alone is expected to account for 42 million units. The smartwatch market sector is expected to increase from 5 million in 2014 to 90 million by 2019. Smart glasses have thus far been restricted by limited availability, high prices and privacy concerns and are expected to ship 11 million units by 2019, which is only 300 000 more than 2014. Wearables such as cardiac rhythm management devices, ECG monitors and mobile Personal Response Systems (mPERS) are common in the medical and healthcare fields. 7.1 million people monitoring devices and 3.1 million safety devices are expected to ship in 2019. Innovation of new products will also drive the market further.
The primary method of connection will still be Bluetooth and smartphones will continue to be the connectivity hub throughout the forecast period. Active cellular network connections are expected to increase from 500 thousand in 2014 to 26.9 million in 2019. This is being driven by the growing adoption of cellular for smartwatches as well as growth in the monitoring and safety segment. Medical devices will rely on low-power NFC technologies and Bluetooth, because they allow remote connectivity through medical monitoring system hubs. BYOD will also have a role in the medical market, particularly for patient-driven models for connected care.
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