Image source: Fitbit

Wearables chasing double-digit growth rates through 2021

The International Data Corporation (IDC) expects wrist worn devices to continue to drive wearables growth in the next few years.

In its latest Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker forecast, IDC says vendors will ship a total of 121.7 million wearable devices this year, up around 17% from 2016. The double-digit growth is set to continue, with with shipments reaching 229.5 million units in 2021. This equates to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.2%.

Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets for 2017

Smartwatches will comprise the majority of wearable devices throughout the forecast. Their share is set to increase from 55% of the market to 67%. The research outfit sees factors such as cellular connectivity, improved sensors and algorithms fueling strong sales. As smartwatches take over, wrist bands will see a decline in their market share from 39% to 22%.

“We expect the most innovation and development in the wearables market to take place on the wrist,” said Ramon T. Llamas, research manager at IDC.

“It’s the ideal location for users to collect, view, and interact with data and applications, and the point to execute tasks like responding to notifications or communicating with other people and devices.

Meanwhile lesser-known wearable products, such as earwear and smart clothing, will see market-beating growth, albeit from a lower base. Sensors embedded into your everyday wear are in a perfect position to understand the minute workings of your body. From monitoring your heat rate to analyzing your sweat and keeping tabs on your breathing. The possibilities are endless. Best of all, these are items you would have worn anyway, but smarter.

wearables chasing double digit growth rates through 2021 - Wearables chasing double-digit growth rates through 2021

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