If there's one thing research companies love to do, is to try and predict markets, even currently non-existent markets, and how big they will be in a few years. This data, if accurate (unfortunately not always the case), could be very useful for companies, because it tells them whether they should enter a market or not, and prepare ahead of time.
If companies know there's going to be a huge market five years from now, they'll want to invest heavily in it, to get the first mover's advantage (which may or may not happen, depending on how well they execute, too).
This time, a research company called ABI Research, has just predicted that the wearable wireless devices market, with its most popular products being in the fitness trackers category, will achieve $6 billion in revenue in 2018.
"Fitness activity trackers are quickly gaining popularity in the market. Different from other more single-use or event-centric devices, activity trackers monitor multiple characteristics of the human body including movement, calories burned, body temperature, and sleep tracking," said ABI Research senior analyst, Adarsh Krishnan. Activity trackers are expected to grow at a 40% CAGR and overtake the 2013 shipment leader, heart rate monitors, in 2017.
The second largest market after fitness tracking seems to be home monitoring devices, especially for the elderly:
The remaining wearable wireless device segments are remote patient monitoring and the professional (On-Site) healthcare market. These markets are unique due to relatively fewer suppliers and high device costs. Average costs for ECG monitors exceed US$200; continuous glucose monitors exceed US$800. Blood pressure monitors and pulse Oximeters remain the most popular devices in these market segments, said ABI Research.
There are all sorts of product lines that could expand from this whole "wearable" market of smart devices, and we'll probably see some companies show success with smartwatches, others with glasses, others with bracelets, and so on. Google, Apple, Samsung, Sony, LG and others will all want to be part of this market, one way or another, and not necessarily with the same type of wearable product.