Wearable Tech Sales Rise 168 Per Cent in a Year

Sales of smart glasses, smart watches and wearable fitness trackers reached 8.3m units worldwide in 2012, up from 3.1m units in 2011, according to new research from the analyst, Berg Insight.

The company forecasts that sales will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 50.6 per cent, to reach 64m units in 2017. Today, wearable fitness and activity trackers constitute the vast majority of the shipments, but according to Berg, by the end of the forecast period, smart watches will incorporate much of the functionality of these and will then be the largest wearable device segment.

“A perfect storm of innovation within low power wireless connectivity, sensor technology, big data, cloud services, voice user interfaces and mobile computing power is coming together, and paves the way for connected wearable technology” said Johan Svanberg, senior analyst at Berg Insight. “The first generation of products appeal to specific markets and certain use cases, but refinement in design, technology and connectivity will broaden application areas and speed up market adoption.”

Berg predicts that wearable technology will shift from a smartphone accessory into a stand-alone computing device, but cautions that wide market availability of wearable devices – Google, Sony and Samsung have already launched products and other major players such as Apple and LG are expected to enter the market soon – will also raise privacy concerns. “It is still uncertain where lines should be drawn, but as in the case with most new technology, individual users and solution providers have the responsibility not to misuse the capabilities enabled by wearable tech” said Svanberg.