Wearable Technology Market to Exceed $6 Billion by 2016

Wearable Technology Market to Exceed $6 Billion by 2016

Northampton, 08 August 2012 – Increasing demand for actionable, real-time data in a range of applications is driving strong demand for wearable technology. 14 million wearable devices were shipped in 2011; by 2016, wearable technology will represent a minimum revenue opportunity of $6 billion, according to World Market for Wearable Technology – A Quantitative Market Assessment – 2012, a new report from IMS Research.

Current wearable devices are concentrated around a few products mainly in the healthcare and medical, and fitness and wellness application areas. In these areas, there is a greater use-case for wearable technology in order to transmit data such as vital signs, and track user performance. Dominant wearable products here include continuous glucose monitors – such as from Abbott and Medtronic, activity monitors – such as Fitbit, Addidas miCoach and Nike Fuelband, and fitness and heart-rate monitors – such as from Garmin, Polar and Suunto.

World Market for Wearable Technologies - Revenues by Application (bubble chart showing healthcare & medical as largest markets)

By 2016, the penetration of wearable technology in a number of current product categories is projected to rapidly increase as a wide range of new wearable devices are developed. According to IMS Research, new product areas where wearable technology will have strong impact include Smart Watches, Smart Glasses, Sleep Sensors, industrial and military heads-up displays and hand-worn terminals.

“A $6 billion market in 2016 is our most conservative forecast which assumes that the adoption of wearable technology will be limited by factors including lack of suitable technology, poor user compliance and lack of an overall enhanced experience from devices that are wearable as compared to non-wearable products. In our mid-range and upside projections, product introductions such as Google’s Smart Glasses and the rumoured Apple Smart Watch come to fruition and are successful. In addition, an increasingly self-aware consumer seeks more and more data on their health and fitness, leading to even more rapid expansion in the market for wearable technology”, commented Theo Ahadome, senior analyst at IMS Research.

Contact information

About IHS (www.ihs.com)
IHS (NYSE: IHS) is the leading source of information, insight and analytics in critical areas that shape today’s business landscape. Businesses and governments in more than 165 countries around the globe rely on the comprehensive content, expert independent analysis and flexible delivery methods of IHS to make high-impact decisions and develop strategies with speed and confidence. IHS has been in business since 1959 and became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange in 2005. Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, USA, IHS employs more than 6,000 people in more than 30 countries around the world.

About IMS Research (www.imsresearch.com)

IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS (NYSE: IHS), is a leading supplier of market research and consultancy to over 2500 clients worldwide, including most of the world’s largest technology companies. Established in the UK in 1989, IMS Research now has dedicated analyst teams focused on the factory automation, automotive, communications, computer, consumer, display, financial & ID, LED & lighting, medical, power & energy, solar PV, smart grid and security markets.  Currently publishing over 350 different syndicated report titles each year, these in-depth publications are used by major electronics and industrial companies to assess market trends, solve marketing problems, and improve the efficiency of their businesses.

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My Advice as Editor of Modern Health Talk

If you buy any of these market research reports, make sure you get a chance to interview the authors personally to understand their assumptions, research process, and what shapes their conclusions. Make sure they aren’t just extrapolating trends but also include thoughtful discussion of market drivers, inhibitors and enablers, because you’ll need that insight to craft yourstrategies. 

Do the authors understand what’s driving telehealth, including the ageing populations and resulting increase in chronic illness, environmental pollution, the availability of nutritious foods, rising care costs, and physician shortages? What do they think of obstacles posed by legal, privacy and security issues, payment models, medical school curriculum and funding? What impact will regulators and the political process have, either as driver or inhibitor? And what will be the short- and long-term impact of broadband Internet access and the exponentially accelerating pace of tech innovation? Consider how quickly Moore’s Law is finding its’ way into healthcare (http://www.mhealthtalk.com/moores-law-and-the-future-of-healthcare/) and ask what will likely happen as medical devices keep getting cheaper, smaller, more accurate, and easier to use. 

Consider the impact of IBM Watson moving from physician assistance tool to advising and coaching consumers directly. How quickly will each of the medical functions done today by physicians in hospital & clinic settings safely move down-market to consumers at home? Won’t retail clinics and kiosks, and home doctor/nurse visits, just be stepping-stones along a path toward that eventuality? 

And finally, what phases will the market projections go through, and when? What levers might you have to make projections happen more quickly? And what should you watch out for that could make them happen more slowly?

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