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September 9, 2014

How wearable technology could hit $53.2bn by 2019

Wearable tech is set to explode, with watches and glasses driving growth.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

The market for wearable technology is set to triple reaching $53.2bn in global retail revenues for vendors by 2019, according to research.

Growth is expected to be driven by increased demand for smart watches and smart glasses within the next five years, with the upcoming launch of Apple’s iWatch and smart watches, such as Google Glass, fuelling the sector.

The research, conducted by analyst firm Juniper Research, said many of the recent developments in the sector have come from start-ups and smaller companies.

"Key players have begun focusing on platform promotions, such as Google’s Android Wear, Samsung’s SAMI data architecture or Intel’s Edison design platform. This enables them to respond easily to new device developments, rather than developing the devices themselves," Juniper said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the study cautioned vendors to get over their ‘technology first’ attitude and to think more in terms of consumer benefits in order to drive growth.

Consumers are still unsure about the practical uses for smart watches and smart glasses beyond fitness and health applications, according to Juniper, and are hesitant to adopt wearables with similar functionality to their smart phones.

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Juniper also predicted that smart watches will replace fitness wearables as the most purchases wearable device by 2017.

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