Wearable electronics, sometimes referred to as wearable computing or wearable technology, is shaping up as the next big market after the smartphone revolution. A new report by research company MarketsandMarkets forecasts that global shipments of wearable electronic devices will grow at a compound annual rate of 30.4% between 2012 and 2018, reaching some 134.3 million units by the end of the period. At this rate of growth, wearable technology sales will generate revenues of $8.36 billion in 2018.
MarketsandMarkets says in its report that no other technology market can currently compare to wearable electronics when it comes to buzz. According to industry experts, this is the kind of excitement that made smartphones the biggest thing to hit the market in decades. It is therefore not surprising that a growing cohort of major technology companies are making big bets on wearable devices. At present, the market can offer products such as smart glasses; ring or finger-worn scanners; athletic, fitness and sports footwear; wrist-worn devices; and assorted head bands and neckwear. The choice is set to expand in 2016, when e-textiles are expected to become commercially available.
Examining the wearable technology market by geography, MarketsandMarkets puts North America on top of the list, both in terms of shipments and revenues. However, the Asia-Pacific holds the top spot when it comes to growth rate and China stands out as the leader in that region. Europe and the rest of the world also exhibit significant promise, with the major growth contributors being the Middle East and Latin America.
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