A new research report from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) forecasts that specialized fitness wearables integrated into clothing and ear-based “hearables” will grow from an expected 4.5 million shipped in 2018 to nearly 30 million in 2022, an increase of more than 550%. By contrast, conventional activity tracker shipments will only grow by 20% in that time, according to the research group.
The new research found that as growth in basic trackers has slowed, session specific wearables, for example those monitoring gym or training sessions, have multiplied. Devices from companies like Under Armour, Sensoria, Gymwatch, Atlas and Jabra provide more granular metrics, without the additional messaging and call-handling functions of more general wearables.
Juniper says that the key battleground for fitness wearables is now data, which will ultimately become device-agnostic, thanks to initiatives like Suunto’s Movesense platform. However, due to a lack of consumer interest, the research group expects fitness software and services revenues to remain under $200 million per annum over the next four years.
Despite the promise of wearables in healthcare, there is little specialized hardware available, with fitness wearables being adapted for healthcare purposes. Juniper expects healthcare wearables to make up under a third of all of the sector’s devices in use by 2022, as regulation slows roll-outs and keeps prices high.
“Healthcare usage has long been the goal of many wearables manufacturers,” remarked research author James Moar. “However, more research needs to be done on activity tracking in order to make typical wearables data clinically meaningful to healthcare professionals.”