Shedding light on the components enabling wearable technology
This report provides detailed descriptions of the sensor types that dominate wearable technology products today, and emerging sensor types that will dominate in the future. Many product types have risen through the peak of the wearable technology hype curve in the last five years before beginning the slide to disillusionment. The common feature with all of them is the prominence of sensor options as the key enabler for their most useful functions. Sensors collect data about the physical and chemical properties of the body and local environment, and use it to feed algorithms which output insightful information. With coverage of all of the prominent incumbent sensors and the most promising emerging options, the report concludes that there will be 3 billion wearable sensors by 2025, with over 30% of them being new types of sensors that are just beginning to emerge.
The report groups sensors in prominent categories, as follows:
Inertial measurement units (IMUs - including accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetometer and barometers)
Optical sensors (including optical heart rate monitoring, PPG and cameras)
Flexible stretch/pressure/impact sensors
Other emerging wearable sensors
For each sensor, the technologies and major players are described, backed up by detailed interviews and company profiles of key bodies in each sector. The report also views the big picture, discussing the implications of sensor fusion and the relative merits of each sensor type for various applications. This extensive primary research is used to produce detailed market forecasts for each sensor type over the next decade. Market data is provided for the growth of each sensor type, and is used to illustrate key trends that are observable in various application sectors.
Growth rates summary for each sensor type
Sensor trends are tied to key market sector trends for wearable technology, building on IDTechEx's extensive analysis of 800 active players in the wearable technology space. Many of the most prominent wearable technology trends are closely tied to the properties and limitations of sensor systems. Case studies are used to illustrate the most prominent examples, including regulatory implications for healthcare systems, ease of commoditisation in infotainment devices and the possibilities presented by sensor fusion.
Sensors are the most diverse component type in wearable devices, and they also enable the key functions that will make wearable devices be worn. Advances with wearable sensors are a vital driver for the future of wearable technology. Their incorporation alongside new energy harvesting and storage techniques, efficient power management systems and low power computing, in form factors that will be increasingly flexible, fashionable and invisible will drive significant growth in the wearable technology market over the next 10 years.
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