The State Of Fitness Trackers 2016
Estimates by the International Data Corporation (IDC) indicate a rapidly growing market for wearables, with an estimated shipment of over 111 million units by the end of 2016. If this prediction comes true, it will mark a 44.4 percent increase in the units shipped compared to 2015.
A survey conducted by Vantiv and Socratic Technologies on 500 consumers revealed that the two most popular pieces of wearable technology are fitness trackers and smartwatches, while the least popular ones are tracking/locating devices, healthcare related devices, wearable cameras, and smart glasses.
These statistics are not unusual considering that smartwatches are still fairly new in the market and in the early stages of adoption, whereas fitness trackers have been around for much longer.
The survey also indicated that most of the owners of these technologies are satisfied with them.
This is particularly so for fitness trackers, which are largely used for: counting steps, monitoring heart rate, and monitoring sleep. This suggests that most fitness trackers use their devices every day.
Reports suggest that smartwatches are considered an alternative to fitness trackers, with about 81 percent of owners using them to tack physical activity, compared to 72 percent for texting and email and 63 percent for reminders.
Looking at the projected sales of wearable devices – most of which are fitness trackers – this year, it is clear that the segment of wearable technology is growing at a remarkable rate, and quickly emerging as a top contender for being the most popular in the consumer electronics space.
The future certainly looks promising for the industry, especially if the manufacturers address some of the challenges faces, including:
- Design limitations – This is one of the biggest constraints faced by the global smart wearable tech market, considering that many consumers use these devices as normal accessories, such as wristbands, watches, or jewelry, with the added benefit of fitness tracking
- Low battery life – This is another big challenge faced by the manufacturers of fitness trackers. Most wearable devices rely on Bluetooth, GPS, wireless networks, and other technologies with high power consumption. Owing to the small size of the device itself, it has a small battery that barely keeps power for 24 or 48 hours. Some provide just a few hours of function during intensive usage. The inconvenience of having to charge your wearable device every few hours, if not addressed, may lead to reduced usage and adoption of some trackers.
- Affordability – The high cost of acquisition may also prevent some people from benefiting from their use. The price of wearable devices varies depending on the application, with many fitness products selling in the range of US $280 to 350 and healthcare devices $700 – $750. Branded devices are generally more expensive, which could make them unaffordable for a section of the market.
- Lack of data privacy – Many trackers are equipped with GPS navigation systems that receive location-based data. Such information is stored in the device’s database, and may be retrieved and used by advertisers and other entities.
- Over-reliance on smartphones – While smartphones are usually convenient, they can become a bother if you have to keep it with you in order to use a certain wearable device. This is particularly a big problem with smartwatches that need to be paired with their respective Android or iOS handheld device in order to enjoy full functionality.
Stats from the IDC suggest that the wearable fitness devices industry will grow by over 44 percent this year from 2015. Many entrants in the sector continue to make respectable sales in different markets, and this trend is likely to see the wearable technology industry exceed $31.27 billion in sales by 2020.
For a broader perspective of the wearable technology industry, find the full article titled The State of Fitness Trackers on appcessories.co.uk.
This post was written by MAX who is the Senior Editor at Appcessories and a regular contributor with a keen eye on new inventions and is always one step ahead when it comes to technology.