As we approach the close of the fiscal year the numbers start rolling in, and the wearable electronic market is on track to exceed $8 billion by the end of 2013. Wearable tech—like smartglasses, smartwatches, and even those simple little pedometers—is rapidly expanding with sales increasing from last year and expected to grow to around $20 billion by 2017.
In this day and age where we’re all attached at the hip to our MacBooks and gold iPhones does it come as any surprise that we need more technology to complement our electronic better halves? "Many wearable devices are currently companion devices to other smart devices, in particular smartphones," says Oliver Rowntree, Research Analyst at Futuresource Consulting. "It's likely this will largely remain the case over the forecast period."
Watches seem to be in a class all their own selling almost a million units in 2013 with over 60% of those sales being attributed to smartwatches alone. As more players such as Apple, LG and Microsoft move into the market that number is expected to grow and could potentially see numbers overrunning that of smartglasses and other accessories.
"Fitness devices are by far the most mature market, making up 97% of the projected value in 2013, though this will fall dramatically as smartwatch and smartglasses categories develop and products ship with embedded sensors that track and analyze movements and activity, cannibalizing some the functionality of dedicated fitness products," Rowentree explains. But even with the decline of fitness products, wearable tech will unlikely see any slowing in years.