Internet of things enabled wearables have got a close cousin – hearables – or the wearables associated with hearing. And this new segment along with cloth based wearables are set for the biggest rally in coming times as a report suggest this segment would grow by 550% in next few years.
A new research report from Juniper Research forecasts that specialised fitness wearables integrated into clothing and ear-based ‘hearables’ will grow from an expected 4.5 million shipped in 2018 to nearly 30 million in 2022, an increase of more than 550%. By contrast, conventional activity tracker shipments will only grow by 20% in that time.
The new research, Health & Fitness Wearables: Vendor Strategies, Trends & Forecasts 2018-2022, found that as growth in basic trackers has slowed, session‑specific wearables, for example those monitoring gym or training sessions, have multiplied.
Devices from companies like Under Armour, Sensoria, Gymwatch, Atlas and Jabra provide more granular metrics, without the additional messaging and call-handling functions of more general wearables.
It found that as detailed metrics become widespread amongst all vendors, lifestyle tracking leaders such as Fitbit and Huami will decline in market share. Combined, these players will account for 28% of total fitness wearable shipments by 2022, down from over 40% in 2017.
The research found that the key battleground for fitness wearables is now data, which will ultimately become device-agnostic, thanks to initiatives like Suunto’s Movesense platform. However, due to a lack of consumer interest, Juniper expects fitness software and services revenues to remain under $200 million per annum over the next 4 years.
“Healthcare usage has long been the goal of many wearables manufacturers”, remarked research author James Moar. “However, more research needs to be done on activity tracking in order to make typical wearables data clinically meaningful to healthcare professionals.”
Despite the promise of wearables in healthcare, there is little specialised hardware available, with fitness trackers being adapted for healthcare purposes. Juniper expects healthcare wearables to make up under a third of all of the sector’s devices in use by 2022, as regulation slows roll-outs and keeps prices high.