Beyond the fitness/health niches, all the general purpose wearables today are really a consumer "solution" that don't add much convenience to our lives - but still incur considerable cost and inconvenience of their own. That will change soon. The healthcare industry is one of the biggest opportunities for wearables, which will be used to provide data management and display systems, enabling doctors to, handle the flood of electronic health data and access it when they need it -- while examining a patient.
This report analyzes the wearable industry and markets for the two wearable camps described above. Forecasts are also presented for semiconductor content and markets for MEMs devices, sensors, CPUs and low-power MPUs, GPS, and connectivity chips.
One of the hot topics among all of those discussed this year is smart wearables. It is a new eco-system seeking out a place in the mass consumer technology offerings, with a wide variety and presence of players. In this respect, both large and small technology companies are already competing with products aimed at this market: we were introduced to Samsung’s smart watch and also the Pebble model, as an example of the difference in size and capacity of those fighting for the biggest slice of the pie. The general perception that it is an emerging market that will create opportunities for those who decide to play is gaining strength considering the forecasts that various analyst firms have published recently.
Wearables are small electronic devices, often consisting of one or more sensors and having computational capability. They are embedded into items that attach to the body, such as a user’s head, feet, arms, wrists and waist. They can resemble a watch, eyeglasses, clothing, contact lenses, shoes or even jewelery. Wearables either capture data or present data. The types of data collected could be as simple as the number of steps taken in a day or as complex as ECG or brainwave measurements. For output, wearables can convey information to the user through a variety of means, from the blinking of an LED light to a complex display of data.
We consider a Wearable computing device, as one that ultimately either provides data via a highly portable device that a consumer can wear (such as Google Glass and or the smart watch), or one that takes some form of measurement and data from a consumer like a fitness band or watch. Sizing such a market is challenging,
Wearables have broader applications then just fitness and health. And while consumer applications drive the market, many of the design, usability, manufacturing, and production are adaptable to commercial, military, and medicinal applications as well.
Wearable tech has many enterprise-level applications for businesses. An April 2014 survey of businesses indicated that the majority did not plan to implement wearables on an enterprise level, but that even of those that did not, they expected that, if they did, the benefits would include “improved communication, enhanced productivity, and better customer relations.” A recent University of London study confirmed this, concluding, after a month-long experiment, that wearables can boost productivity and job satisfaction in the workplace.
Enterprise-level applications include enhancing resource access to, and tracking the whereabouts of, remote workers; enhanced communication (through wireless headsets and wristbands, for moving employees such as retail workers); augmented vision (through smart glasses, used for example, in the construction industry, to “see” inside walls); and increased payment options (through a wristwatch, for example). Further wearables have considerable industry-specific applications for uniformed professions, such as law enforcement and emergency medical technicians.
But perhaps the biggest benefit of wearables for business is the data that wearables collect. Such consumer information could be invaluable to marketing and sales departments. This application of wearable tech has doubtlessly influenced the entry of large firms, such as Google, Intel, Qualcomm, and Samsung.
There are a number of consumer wearables currently on the market, ranging from smart wristwatches to smart contact lenses to sensor-integrated clothes. Examples include XOEye’s XOne camera glasses; CSR’s smart jewelry, which can be worn around the neck and blinks when the wearer receives a phone call; SafeNecklace, which can monitor kids during field trips; OMSignal’s spandex shirt, which can monitor a wearer’s vital functions Lumo’s posture correcting belt, the Bluetooth LumoBack belt; the Pebble Steel smartwatch, on which the wearer can receive text messages and emails; and Sensoria’s electronic anklet which tracks the wearer’s speed and distance, just to name a few. There are even electronic tattoos under development. However, the consumer market for wearables is extremely fragmented.
One wearables enthusiast is the U.S. military, which sees the technology providing enhanced efficiency for soldiers. Wearables that can monitor the vital signs of soldiers can be the difference between life and death. Other wearables, in the form of helmets, overlay information over a soldier’s eyes to increase their awareness of their surroundings. An example of this is the Aviation Warrior, a wearables system developed by Raytheon, which includes a helmet, wrist display and portable computing device, all designed to provide the soldier with as much information as possible about who is on the battlefield in real-time.
The military is not limited in the scope of its wearables-related thinking to soldiers. Under development is a wearable that can “translate” the actions of military animals. The system is known as FIDO (facilitating interactions for dogs with occupations”), and after training, the dog could activate different sensors to activate different things, for example a tug to issue a beep to indicate the presence of an explosive.
Another early adopter of wearables is the medical community, many members of whom are interested in miniature wearables for healthcare monitoring. One such wearable is MC10’s ultra-thin Biostamp, which, when affixed to the body, can monitor heart rate, temperature and other vital statistics, and can send that information wirelessly back to doctors. Others include a bandaid by medical sensor company Corventis that monitors heart conditions; a muscle contraction sensor by TMG that measures muscle fatigue; and a “smart” insole by Moticon for use in patient analysis, monitoring, and rehabilitation.
Wearables have further applications in clinical practice, such as the 9Solutions IPCS, a device that tracks medical staff and equipment in real-time.
Other applications of wearable tech include, but are not limited to recording car accidents for insurance purposes; law enforcement surveillance; mapping terrain for outdoor activities in real-time; and serving as memory aids.
There are three major factors driving the proliferation of wearable products in the market today.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.1 Definitions And Segmentation Of Wearable Devices 1-1
1.2 Market Drivers 1-5
1.3 Demographic Factors 1-6
1.4 Emerging Markets And Applications 1-7
1.5 Disruptive Technologies 1-8
1.6 Government Policy Effects 1-12
2.1 Competitive Forces And Dynamics 2-1
2.2 Pricing Trends 2-2
2.3 Mergers And Acquisitions 2-4
2.4 Forecasts And Projections 2-8
2.4.1 Wearable Forecasts 2-8
2.4.2 Semiconductor Forecasts 2-25
188.8.131.52 Sensors 2-25
184.108.40.206 MEMs 2-29
2.5 Manufacturing Developments 2-32
2.6 Regulatory Compliance 2-34
3.1 Digital Health 3-1
3.1.1 Health And Wellness Wearables: Benefits 3-3
3.1.2 Health And Wellness Wearables: Shortcomings 3-5
3.2 Body Area Networks 3-6
3.2.1 Introduction 3-6
3.2.2 Medical Wireless BAN 3-7
3.2.3 Wearable BANs 3-8
3.2.4 Implanted BANs 3-9
3.3 Medical Diagnostics And Screening 3-10
3.4 Genomics 3-11
3.5 Safety And Security 3-13
3.6 Environmental 3-14
3.7 Virtual Reality 3-15
3.8 Indoor Navigation 3-17
4.1 Introduction 4-1
4.2 Touch 4-6
4.3 Pressure 4-6
4.4 Thermal 4-10
4.5 Radiation 4-14
4.6 Humidity 4-19
4.7 Chemical 4-20
4.8 High-Performance Image And IR 4-22
4.9 Air And Pollution 4-22
4.10 Magnetic 4-23
4.11 Water 4-24
4.12 Radar 4-25
4.13 High-Performance Inertial 4-25
4.14 High-Performance Microphones And Microphone Arrays 4-27
5.1 High Performance Micro Speakers 5-1
5.2 Optical Zoom 5-2
5.3 Micro Shutters 5-4
5.4 Energy Harvesters 5-5
6.1 Flexible And Printed Electronics 6-1
6.2 Smart Glass 6-2
6.3 Streamlined Assembly Techniques 6-6
7.1 Introduction 7-1
7.2 Sensor Hubs 7-7
7.3 Ultra-Low Power Systems And Components 7-8
7.4 Energy Harvesting 7-9
7.5 Micro Batteries And Energy Storage 7-12
7.6 Supercapacitors 7-14
7.7 Sensor Integration 7-16
7.8 Context Awareness 7-20
7.9 Connectivity With Smartphones. 7-20