According to ABI Research, the wearable device industry is projected to sell 100 million units annually by 2016 and expand to $19 billion in sales by 2020. These products have been enhanced tremendously as consumers become more interested in wearable devices.
To date, the health and fitness industry has been the primary driving force in building the wearable tech market, creating demand for a variety of health monitoring devices to be worn during both workouts and daily life. Products such as calorie counters, pedometers, sleep monitors and fitness pals have been great sellers; other activity trackers like Jawbone UP and the Nike FuelBand are also seeing success. Now, healthcare specialists are aiming to create mobile communication devices available to their patients for even greater health monitoring applications.
As wearable devices become more attractive and less intrusive, more consumers are apt to wear them, even those users who normally don’t wear watches or jewelry. And that’s because of their ultimate efficacy as it applies to daily life. By wearing a small, non-cumbersome wristband holding a mobile application that can monitor how many calories per day one is burning, fitness programs via mobile devices make it easier for users to track and properly plan their overall health and fitness regimens. Bluetooth 4.0 has been integrated with original body-worn sensors, which have the ability to auto-track activity levels. Worn against the body, mobile health monitors are now able to report on perspiration levels, heart rates, and blood pressure, combining all the data into an overall fitness analysis.
Health brands are innovating new concepts and devices at a significant rate. The AirWaves mask was one recent winner of a competition run by Frog Design. Developed in Shanghai, AirWaves gives the traditional germ and pollution mask a high-tech makeover. The device analyzes pollution levels in the environment and distributes this information to other nearby wearers, essentially generating a location-based grid of areas based on pollution levels.
Kinetik technology has arisen as an important new concept as well. Kinetik devices connect to moving objects, like bike spokes, and channel kinetic energy. Although the volume of energy is often on the lower end, it can power small devices like mobile phones, creating a cost-efficient and environmentally friendly technology.
The future of wearable devices is certainly parallel to the advancement in mobile phone technology. Text messages, mobile app notifications, and even voice broadcasting will begin to integrate with wearable device technology and health monitoring systems. As more consumers begin to wear technology, mobile companies will find ways to offer even greater ways to enhance health, fitness, and all other parts of daily life, allowing brands to communicate with customers by integrating wearable technology with enhanced mobile communication.