Global wearable technology market is expected to rise with a CAGR of 40.8% from 2012 and 2018, and rise to a value worth USD 5.8 billion by 2018
The terms Wearable technology or wearable devices both refer to electrical devices or computers that can be incorporated into clothes or accessories and worn comfortably on body. Such devices are capable of performing many tasks similar to smart phones and computers by virtue of their similar technical specifications; however, in many cases, these devices can even outperform these handheld devices quite gracefully. Their more sophisticated features that grant them abilities such as scanning and sensory input/output capabilities that are typically not found in laptops or smartphones, such as bio-incorporation with these machines.
Commonly, wearable devices could possess some kind of communication capability and a way to allow real time information access in to the user while capabilities for inputting and storing local data are also common in much of these devices. Some examples of such devices include products in the form of glasses, contact-lenses, watches, headbands, jewellery items such as bracelets, rings, caps, e-textiles, to name a few.
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While most of the devices mentioned above are examples of items that can be worn or taken off easily, there also exists a more invasive version of the wearable technology concepts like implantable devices such as micro-chips. At the end, the actual essence of this concept is that a constant, seamless, portable, convenient, and mostly hands-free access to computers and related technologies is provided, by either wearing the devices or incorporating it into the body.
The applications to wearable technology are huge and are commonly found in fields such as health, medicine, education, finance, gaming and entertainment. The goal of this technology in all these fields is to smoothly incorporate portable and functional computing and electronic technologies into daily life of the user. Before these technologies became commonplace in the market, they were used mostly in healthcare, medicine and military fields.
With ever rising potential of this technology and the rising array of its applications, it is estimated that this technology could have some very significant impacts on many cultural and sociological aspects of day-today life of the coming future. Already, the consumer market is flooded with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets that have changed the way technology was accessible to consumers only a few years ago. Now, watching someone accessing a hand-held, cutting-edge technological device in public is not a rare sight. But this was not possible only 20 years back. Keeping this in mind, analysts predict that wearable technology will again bring huge changes in the technological landscape of today’s world, just as smart phones did some years back.
Industry analysts predict that the global market of wearable technology, which is still in its nascent stage and was worth USD 750 million in 2012, will reach USD 5.8 by 2018 by observing year on year growth at a CAGR 40.8% during 2012 to 2018. Currently, North America leads this market, followed by Europe with Japan and South Korea being other major markets of this industry.
While many industry analysts estimate that North America would continue its run for the leading market position, some reliable analysts assess Asia Pacific and Europe as big threats to North America’s leading position. According to these analysts, these regions (Asia Pacific and Europe) will collectively account for about 49% of the total revenue of this market by 2018.
Application wise, medical and healthcare segments held the largest shares of this market, about 35.1%, followed by wellness and fitness, in 2012. During this time, The medical and healthcare segment seemed to have benefitted primarily from a rise in diabetes within a larger world population and generally due to the rising and aging world population. By 2018, however, the segment of ‘infotainment’ – information fused with entertainment – is expected to surpass these leading revenue generators of the market due to probable rise in numbers of smart-watches and smart-glasses.
Factors such as lack of consumer awareness and generally high-priced nature of these devices could hinder the growth of this market in the near times. However, as time shall pass, its adoption coupled with the huge rise in demand for real time data would fuel market growth of the industry.
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