- The global wearables market is forecast to expand 15% a year until 2023, according to a report by researcher Technavio. Demand for wearable electronics will grow as wearables integrate advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) and contactless payments, per the announcement.
- Smart bands, smart rings, smart watches and HMDs will need low-power components like sensors, processors and batteries from hardware developers. Processors and inertial measurement units (IMUs) that detect motion also will need to use less power while enhancing the performance of wearable electronics, per Technavio.
- Instead of using smartphone technology that has been shrunken into smaller devices like watches, the wearables industry will need specialized components that are more in line with the usage patterns of wearable devices, the report states.
Technavio's forecast of 15% annual growth for the wearables market reflects a key focus area for tech companies that are expanding the connectivity of everyday devices like watches, earbuds, fitness trackers and clothing. The fastest-growing devices are smartwatches, which have become a bright spot for companies like Apple that are faced with slowing or stagnant demand for smartphones.
Global smartwatch shipments rose 48% in Q1 2019 from a year earlier, on the strength of brands including Apple, Samsung, Fitbit and Huawei, per a separate study by researcher Counterpoint. Smartwatches will grow their share of the entire wearables market to 47% by 2023 from 44% last year on the growing popularity of the Apple Watch and various versions of Android-based devices from a variety of gadget makers, per the International Data Corp.
Apple's popular AirPods are inspiring other companies to create wireless listening devices that work with a smartphone. Amazon is reportedly developing earbuds that work with its voice-powered virtual assistant Alexa, as the e-commerce giant seeks to take on Apple's popular AirPods in the mobile wearables market. Also, Google and Qualcomm recently said they are working on an SDK for building bluetooth headphones that are enabled by Google Assistant.
Device makers sold 12.5 million pairs of earbuds in Q4 2018, according to Counterpoint Research data cited by Bloomberg. Samsung this year started selling its Galaxy Buds that work like AirPods and Amazon's planned device. Google introduced Pixel Buds last year, while Apple's Beats business, Jabra and Sony also market wireless earbuds.