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Smart clothing and hearables to grow 550% in next 4 years

A new report from Juniper Research predicts smart clothing and hearable shipments will grow by 550% in the next four years.

Sensors embedded into your everyday wear are in a perfect position to understand the minute workings of your body. Everything from connected hats, shirts, shoes and earbuds, the possibilities are endless. Best of all, these are items you would have worn anyway, only smarter.

Now a new research reports forecasts that shipments of these types of items will increase from an expected 4.5 million in 2018 to nearly 30 million in 2022, more than a five-fold increase. During this same period, shipments of conventional activity trackers will only grow by 20%. It should be stressed, this is from a much higher base.

Essential reading: Moving away from the wrist – the best smart clothing

While growth of 24/7 fitness trackers will slow, session‑specific wearables, such as those monitoring gym or training sessions, will see healthy growth. This will be reflected in market shares of leading players and lifestyle tracking manufacturers such as Fitbit and Huami will see their share of the pie shrink. Combined, these players will account for 28% of total fitness wearable shipments in 2022, down from their current 40% share.

The report also found that the key battleground is now data. In the coming years, integration of fitness tracker information with medical databases will widen the focus from consumer hardware to institutional partnerships and software integration.

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