Connected Wearables is the third consecutive report
from Berg Insight analysing the latest developments on the
connected wearables market worldwide.
This strategic research report from Berg Insight provides
you with 200 pages of unique business intelligence including
5-year industry forecasts and expert commentary on which to
base your business decisions.
This report will allow you to:
Understand the key enablers for growth in the connected
Identify key players in the connected wearables ecosystem.0
Benefit from detailed forecasts for ten different device categories
lasting until 2021.
Learn about the markets for activity trackers, smartwatches, smart
glasses and medical devices.
Evaluate the business opportunities in new innovative device
Predict future market and technology developments.
This report answers the following questions:
Which are the main device categories within connected
What are the main drivers on this market?
What are the general technology trends for connected
When will cellular connectivity be a common option in
Which connected wearables offer the best potential for
embedded cellular connectivity?
Which are the leading wearables vendors?
How will the markets for smart watches and fitness trackers
When will smart clothing become a success on the consumer
What new innovative wearables could become successes?
The wearable form factor enables hands-free operation and allows the user to multitask and
get immediate access to information. It also enables continuous recording of useful data such
as body metrics, location and environmental data. Berg Insight’s definition of a connected
wearable is a device meant to be worn by the user and which incorporates data logging and
some sort of wireless connectivity. Connected wearables have for long been widely used in
professional markets. The high smartphone adoption, cloud services, miniaturised hardware,
sensor technology and low power wireless connectivity have enabled connected wearables
to emerge as a new promising consumer segment as well. The number of applications for
wearable technology is vast and includes imaging, augmented reality, media playback,
navigation, data displaying, authentication, gesture control, monitoring and communication. A
plethora of device categories such as smartwatches, fitness & activity trackers, smart glasses,
people monitoring devices, smart clothing, medical devices and wearable computers target
various market segments including infotainment & lifestyle, fitness & wellness, people
monitoring & safety, medical & healthcare, enterprise & industrial and government & military.
The market for connected wearables has entered a strong growth phase that will last for
many years to come. Berg Insight estimates that shipments of connected wearables reached
96.5 million units in 2016. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22.2 percent to reach
shipments of 262.5 million by 2021. Fitness & activity trackers is the largest product category
and accounts for a majority of today’s shipments. Decreasing prices and new form factors will
enable fitness & activity trackers to reach shipments of 81.0 million units in 2021. The
smartwatch category has also started to reach significant volumes and is predicted to
become the largest device category reaching shipments of 115.0 million devices in 2021, up
from 20.7 million units in 2016. Limited availability, high prices and privacy concerns have so
far resulted in that sales of smart glasses have been modest. Promising use cases in
professional markets as well as in niche consumer segments will enable smart glasses to
reach shipments of 13.0 million devices in 2021, up from 1.2 million units in 2016. Connected
wearables such as cardiac rhythm management devices, ECG monitors and mobile Personal
Emergency Response Systems (mPERS) are already common in the medical & healthcare
and people monitoring & safety segments. Annual shipments of medical devices and people
monitoring & safety devices are forecasted to grow to 16.0 million and 9.2 million respectively
by the end of the forecast period. Smart clothing is expected to gain significant traction within
the next five years. Low consumer awareness, overlapping use cases and a focus on elite
and professional applications have so far limited the adoption among the general public.
Berg Insight forecasts that shipments of smart clothing will reach 18.3 million units in 2021,
up from 1,560,000 units in 2016. Finally, annual shipments of wearables not covered by the
above product categories are predicted to grow at a CAGR of 48.2 percent from 1.4 million
units in 2016 to reach 10.0 million units in 2021.
Bluetooth will remain the primary connectivity option in consumer centric wearables
throughout the forecast period and smartphones will act as the principal hub for remote
connectivity. The number of active cellular network connections from wearables is projected
to grow from 3.3 million in 2016 to reach 47.7 million connections in 2021. The growth is
driven by increasing adoption of cellular in the smartwatch category and the high adoption in
the people monitoring & safety segment in which cellular connectivity already is the main
technology for many types of devices. The most common connectivity option for wearable
medical devices will be low power NFC technologies and Bluetooth which enable remote
connectivity via medical monitoring system hubs. BYOD will have an increasing impact on the
connected medical device category, especially for patient-driven models of connected care.
Numerous merger & acquisition activities have taken place among wearables players in the
past years. Clothing Plus which develops textile-integrated wearable sensor solutions was
acquired by Jabil Circuit, a global provider of manufacturing and supply chain solutions in
June 2015. Later in August 2015, the popular fitness app and wearable device vendor
Runtastic was acquired by Adidas for US$ 240 million. Fossil Group agreed to acquire the
connected wearable device vendor Misfit for US$ 260 million in November 2015. Logitech
acquired the earphone maker Jaybird in April 2016. During the same month, Nokia
announced its acquisition of Withings, a prominent provider of connected health devices.
Fitbit has expanded its portfolio by acquiring the smart payment solution from Coin in May
2016 as well the competitor Pebble in December 2016 and Vector Watch in January 2017.