By 2016: 100M wearable wireless sensors

By Chris Gullo
10:47 am
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Garmin wireless sensorThe market for wearable devices will exceed 100 million units annually by 2016, reports ABI Research in a new study. A study released by ABI last June estimated that 80 million of those units would be fitness sensors.

The announcement comes on the heels of yesterday's news of an expected $1.34B wireless health industry also by 2016. According to ABI, adoption over the next five years will be driven by devices, ranging from heart rate monitors to wearable blood glucose meters, in both consumer (sports, fitness) and clinical settings. New, low-power wireless technologies such as Bluetooth 4.0 will combine with social networking and smartphone integration to drive adoption.

“A number of short range wireless protocols are jostling for position in this emerging market and they line up against traditional tethered connectivity such as a USB cable to a computer as well as emerging M2M offerings,” stated ABI analyst Jonathan Collins in a press release.

Read the full press release below.

The market for wearable devices will reach more than 100 million units annually by 2016 as a range of factors combine over the next five years to drive consumer and healthcare adoption. These devices, ranging from heart rate monitors for measuring an individual’s performance during sports to wearable blood glucose meters, will all enable greater detail in tracking, monitoring, and care – often through connections provided by mobile phones.

“A number of short range wireless protocols are jostling for position in this emerging market and they line up against traditional tethered connectivity such as a USB cable to a computer as well as emerging M2M offerings”

Ultra-low power wireless technologies such as single mode Bluetooth 4.0, existing proprietary, and the planned 802.15.6 specifications are combining with mobile handsets and social networking application capabilities to drive adoption of a new generation of body-worn sensors. These sensors have the capability of automating details on an individual’s activities to inform friends and drive advice and feedback.

“A number of short range wireless protocols are jostling for position in this emerging market and they line up against traditional tethered connectivity such as a USB cable to a computer as well as emerging M2M offerings,” says Jonathan Collins, principal analyst, wireless healthcare and M2M.

While the sports and fitness market has been embedding proprietary short-range wireless connectivity in devices for many years, it has remained a niche market. The market is now reaching a key growth period with support and commitment to standardized specifications. The professional healthcare market is also starting to look at the potential for embedded wireless communication in wearable devices for in-hospital and remote patient care.

ABI Research’s report, “Wireless Health and Fitness,” (http://www.abiresearch.com/research/1003408) assesses the market opportunity for wireless enabled devices and communications within the home and consumer market. Analysis and forecasts are split across three broad categories: sports, fitness and wellbeing; home monitoring; and remote patient monitoring.

It is part of both the Smart Cities and Smart Grids Research Service (http://www.abiresearch.com/products/service/Smart_Cities_Research_Service) and Wireless Healthcare Research Service (http://www.abiresearch.com/products/service/Wireless_Healthcare_Research...).

ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research’s worldwide team of experts advises thousands of decision makers through 40+ research and advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.

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