The global market for wearable computing devices is expected to grow to $30.2 billion by 2018, with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 43.4%, according to a new report BCC Research. The consumer market, the fastest moving segment overall, is projected to grow at a 52% CAGR.
Wearable computers enable hands-free mobile real-time data monitoring, logic calculation and network communication. Consumer applications, including wearable cameras, activity trackers, smart clothing, smart glasses, smart watches, augmented reality and gaming devices, are expected to explode onto the market over the next few years, reaching $22.1 billion by 2018, according to the report.
Non-consumer markets (healthcare, defense/security, enterprise, and industrial) are expected to reach $8.1 billion by 2018. The smartwatch product category is projected to account for the largest single consumer market, generating more than $12.5 billion in global annual revenues in 2018.
“Key for the future widespread adoption of smartwatches in consumer markets will be for products to leverage the single unique advantage of smartwatches over smartphones,” says BCC Research information technology analyst Adam Weigold. “In other words, products must target consumer applications where it is a distinct advantage for a smart device to be permanently worn to prevent it from being misplaced, lost, or stolen. Hence, applications such as remote location of personal items, home automation and mobile payment processing could be ‘killer apps’ for the smartwatch.”
The report, titled “Wearable Computing: Technologies, Applications and Global Markets,” provides an overview of the wearable computing devices market. It discusses recent technological advances in materials sciences, electronics, photonics, and software that are enabling a potentially vast range of new lightweight, wearable computing products to emerge.