Wearables market to grow, spurred by Apple Watch

Anthony Caruana
28 May, 2015
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Frost & Sullivan’s new report, ‘Australian Wearable Technologies Report 2015′, forecasts annual compounding growth of approximately 78 percent for the period 2014 to 2018, with revenues expected to reach $1 billion by 2018.

Although the wearables market is quite new, the recent release of the Apple Watch is expected to ignite interest in wearables, as well as accelerate sales of wearable devices in Australia. This in turn will spur greater innovation from other players in the industry and drive new partnerships among vendors and distributors.

With the Australian culture’s emphasis on fitness and sport, consumer wearables such as FitBit, JawBone and other health and fitness trackers are popular, according to Frost and Sullivan.

Audrey William, head of ICT Research, Frost & Sullivan Australia and New Zealand, says there has been minimal use of wearable technology for business applications. “In the enterprise (business) segment, most wearable technologies are currently at the prototype stage. However, Frost & Sullivan expects significant enterprise adoption of wearable technology from around 2017, as several companies, especially in the mining and oil and gas industries are already looking to trial wearable products,” she says.

The report found several local Australian technology start-ups have already joined the wearables innovation foray, venturing to launch products like smart shirts, smart wrist bands and smart bands for health monitoring and fitness tracking. Some of these companies include Catapult Sports, Ollo Wearables, Smash Wearables, Wearable Experiments and MJ Bale, and they offer fresh innovation and expansion options via acquisitions for the bigger, established players in the market.

Frost & Sullivan expects mergers and acquisitions and cross industry collaboration to be a key feature to drive the next level of innovation in the wearable technologies market.

Wearable technology is not devoid of issues and obstacles. The report pointed out challenges to mass adoption include technical impediments such as battery life, miniaturisation of embedded sensors, wearable data management and interoperability, compatibility among competing vendors and platforms, and security.

An on-demand webinar recording on the Australian Wearables Technologies Report is available from https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/5567/157481.

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