Ecosystems of connected devices, diversification beyond wrist wear will result in rising sales, writes Managing Director Deborah Weinswig
Already a total $28.7 billion market, wearables sales are set to be boosted by a second generation of connected devices. “Wearables 2.0” will incorporate multiple connected devices and cloud-based services that together offer more meaningful enhancements to users’ lifestyles, writes Deborah Weinswig, Managing Director of Fung Global Retail & Technology.
“We are seeing big names such as Under Armour and Sony Xperia building ecosystems of connected devices and software services, alongside new names such as SensorKit,” Weinswig notes. “Wearables 1.0 are effectively just another screen for smartphones: the devices include technology that is easily copied, and they have limited functionality and normally require a connection via a smartphone,” she writes. “The second generation of wearables will consist of more sophisticated and impactful offerings that bundle multiple smart devices with software services.”
These devices will be used for fitness and wellness (including trackers, usually worn on the wrist); healthcare (heart and blood pressure monitors, and medical “cloud” software applications), lifestyle (including Apple Watches), and gaming and entertainment (such as virtual and augmented reality devices). The result is that fitness trackers are overlapping with smartwatches and software/cloud solutions that connect to multiple devices and to the IoT; headphones embedded with smart sensors are converging with the hearing-aid market; and autonomous products such as Nike’s self-lacing shoes are being launched, further blurring the boundaries of wearables.
Although wristwear has dominated product launches and driven market growth so far, a wave of innovation in clothing and sportswear categories is adding momentum to the wearables market. Large companies including Levi’s are collaborating with technology companies to create innovative new products including smart jackets, shoes and more.
“Innovation and change are rife in the wearables market,” Weinswig notes. “The future of the wearable technology market looks like it will be married by new products in existing categories, strong market growth and diversification, with brands offering ecosystems of devices. An advocate for innovation, creativity and the implementation of cuttingedge technologies, Weinswig joined Fung Global Retail & Technology (formerly FBIC Group) in 2014 to offer her unique viewpoints on the disruptive technology trends and innovations that are reshaping the global retail industry.
The full report can be found here. Other reports issued by Fung Global Retail & Technology include: “The State of Consumers in the US and China,” and “The Silver Wave: Understanding the Aging Consumer,” Fung Global Retail & Technology’s reports and analyses can be found at www.fbicgroup.com and www.deborahweinswig.com.
About Fung Global Retail & Technology
The Fung Global Retail & Technology research team, based in New York, London and Hong Kong, is a think tank that follows emerging retail and tech trends, specializing in the ways retail and technology intersect, and building collaborative communities.
The team, led by Deborah Weinswig, former top Wall Street and retail tech analyst and startup advisor, publishes ongoing thematic and global market research on topics such as the Internet of Things, digital payments, omni-channel retail, luxury and fashion trends and disruptive technologies. More information can be found at www.fbicgroup.com.