According to a recent report from ON World, in the next fives years an estimated 700 million wearable technology devices will ship worldwide, which will make for a $47.4 billion market. The research firm predicts that hardware sales will continue to dominate revenues for the next five years but monitoring services, apps, and subscriptions will have faster growth rates.
“Over the past two years, wearables have gone from a niche market to a revolutionary force,” Mareca Hatler, ON World’s research director said in a statement. “Developers from all major industries are seeing opportunities for sensor enabled wearables, integrated cloud applications and services as well as the next fashion trend.”
ON World has identified 400 unique wearable devices in the market during 2013, which marked a tripling over 2012. The firm pointed to new product categories, including: smart watches, smart glasses, consumer wearable sensors and industrial and enterprise devices as drivers of the market. The number of smart watches in the market have seen 10x growth and the number of body-worn sensors have seen 5x growth, the firm writes.
ON World is tracking more than 50 smartwatch makers and about a dozen smart glasses developers, which ON World predicts is on track to becoming a $5 billion market.
"A few other emerging mobile sensing wearable product categories include bracelets (e.g. Netatmo’s June), baby vital sign monitors (Rest Devices, Owlet and Enmovere) and pet activity/location trackers (e.g. Tagg, Voyce and Whistle)," the firm writes. "Investment in wearables hardware companies is accelerating with almost $500 million invested in 2013 alone."
A few months ago ON World shared survey results from its poll of 2,000 consumers on wearable devices: Almost 75 percent of Americans believe wearable technology will have a positive impact on health, sports, and fitness industries and consumers most desired smartwatches followed by activity trackers, smart glasses, heart rate monitors, and smart clothing.