Wrist-based trackers to power growth in fitness wearables


Juniper Research has released a report that projects hardware revenues generated from the fitness wearables sector to nearly triple from an estimated $3.3 billion (GBP 2.2 billion) in 2015 to $10bn (GBP 6.6bn) by 2020, mainly on account of sales of wrist-based trackers.

Fitness currently outstrips fashion as the key purchase driver among wearable consumers. More than 70% of those weighing the purchase of a wearable are looking to use a fitness device. As a result, the current demand for fitness-oriented products will not be swayed by the launch of luxury smartwatches from TAG Heuer and Breitling. However, feature-rich smartwatches will gain immense traction by 2019.

Juniper holds that the market will need to feature capable apps in order to interpret advanced metrics as demand for new fitness tracking capabilities such as heart-rate tracking and blood-oxygen saturation levels is on the rise. The absence of requisite apps will leave consumers bombarded by too much data.

Smart clothing is also set to transform sports in the future as the likes of NFL collaborate with Microsoft and Zebra Technologies to boost the insight of fans on the game with the provision of real-time data visualisations. However, such applications may lead to increased scrutiny of pro sport players.

Research author James Moar said: “Without clear boundaries for data ownership and use, biometrics could become part of sports players’ contracts, and even dictate initial hiring practices through predictive analytics. While wearables companies involved in corporate wellness have been very careful to ensure employers can only see aggregate data and that workers can opt out, pro sports have no such safeguards.”

The whitepaper can be accessed here.


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