Wearables market to reach double-digit growth

According to market research firm, IDC, wearables are expected to enjoy a very bright future – thanks to a trend born from pairing wearables with already popular technologies such as voice assistants and fitness trackers.

"The rise of smart assistants on wearables, both wrist-worn and ear-worn, is a trend worth watching," said IDC research manager, Jitesh Ubrani, in a press release. "Though still in its infancy, the integration of these assistants with wearables opens up new use cases, from allowing these devices to tie into the smart home to making the devices more proactive at urging users to live healthier or more productive lives."

In fact, research shows the trajectory of wearables, including everything from connected watches to wireless earbuds, are expected to grow 15.3 per cent worldwide by the end of 2019. Shipments of wearables are also set to reach 198.5 million units by the end of this year, and 279 million units by the end of 2023.

A lot of that growth will be driven by the rapid increase of smartwatches, ear-worn devices and wristbands, the firm said, as well as health care’s growing adoption of the devices.

In particular, watches (at just over 44 per cent) made up a huge chunk of the market in 2018, and IDC believes they will account for a larger share in years to come (an estimated 47.1 per cent in 2023).

The research predicts Apple Watch will remain at the top of the list for the category, although it will probably face growing competition from Android and Wear OS devices. IDC also believes WatchOS will account for 27.5 per cent of all watches by 2023.

Interestingly, IDC said connected clothing is another area to watch. While it’s already hugely popular in China, players such as Nike Inc. and Under Armour Inc. have gained ground in other regions – with predictions that its popularity is slowly spreading.

Additionally, hearables (also known as “smart headphones” or “smart buds”) are rapidly growing, perhaps because they are also coming equipped with voice assistants. However, wristbands are expected to slowly cool off.