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$6 billion market for “wearable technology” by 2016

A report from IMS Research has stated that the market for “wearable technology” is expected to exceed $6 billion by 2016.

The report, ‘World Market for Wearable Technology – A Quantitative Market Assessment – 2012’, states that wearable technology has increased in popularity in recent years, with a suite of devices designed around healthcare, medical monitoring, fitness and wellbeing.

The $6 billion figure is based on figures from 2011, which saw 14 million wearable technology devices sold worldwide. IMS Research estimate that this will increase to between 39-171 million by 2016. The report states that this however is the most conservative estimate taking into account a number of limitations, and could actually be much higher.

Popular devices are thought to offer functions such as transmitting vital signs and the monitoring of user performance. Dominant products currently include activity monitors such as Fitbit, Adidas miCoach and Nike+ Fuelband and heart rate monitors from Garmin, Polar and Suunto. Continuous glucose monitors from companies such as Abbot and Medtronic are the dominant product, and it is expected they will remain as such going forward.

It is thought that the market could also be strongly influenced by new technologies, such as smart watches, smart glasses, sleep sensors and hand-worn terminals. Mid and high-range predictions included in the report are predicated on the release of technologies still in their early phases, such as Google’s Project Glass and Apple’s Smart Watch.

Theo Ahadome, senior analyst at IMS research, commented saying “an increasingly self-aware consumer seeks more and more data on their health and fitness, leading to even more rapid expansion in the market for wearable technology”.

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