In 2012, 30 million wearable, wireless monitoring devices were sold in the U.S. That figure spiked 37% from the number sold in 2011. In the “2013 Internet Trends” report released by KPCB a few months ago, Mary Meeker and Liang Wu noted an unusual pattern in computing cycles: the first cycle was Smartphones, followed 10 years later by Tablets as the second cycle. However, Wearables /Drivable devices, or the third cycle, represent an industry that is growing faster than the typical 10-year cycle.
Wearable technology includes devices that measure your physical activity, your blood oxygen levels and even your sleep, and this rapidly growing industry is showing no signs of slowing down. Research predicts that sales will rise to 160 million devices by 2017, and IMS Research puts the wearables market at $6B by 2016.
So what next?
With wearable technology providing us with insights that can be used to change our behavior for the better, this has contributed to a major shift in the healthcare industry. We are already seeing insurers start to encourage consumers to use these devices not only to boost fitness, but also to reduce their health-care costs.
According to a Forrester Research report we can expect the wearable device market to be an important battleground for the big platform makers, including Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook.