Tag Archives: Wearable device

The Global Market for mHealth Wellness Devices

mHealth Wellness/Sports & Fitness Device Market to Grow to $3.8 Billion in 2020; Growth Led by Activity Trackers and High End Sports Watches

The market for mHealth Wellness/Sports & Fitness Devices will be worth $2.4 billion in 2014 and grow at a CAGR of 8% to reach $3.8 billion in 2020. It represents a total opportunity of >$22.5 billion in the seven years from 2014 to 2020. This market includes many end device types, including Heart Rate Monitors, Connected Weighing Scales and Smart Sports Clothing, but the major growth markets will be Activity Trackers and High End Sports Watches.

“Heart Rate Monitors and Sports Watches have been around for many years. However, more recently the range of devices that are emerging and the increasing amount of technology being used is drastically changing the market dynamics.”, commented Peter Cooney, Principal Analyst & Director of SensiAn Research. “Activity Monitors, Smart Sports Watches, Heart Rate Monitors and Smart Sports Clothing are all becoming significant markets for device and technology vendors and the list of device types continues to grow.”

SensiAn Research expects that the total market for mHealth Wellness/Sports & Fitness Devices will grow to almost 25 million units shipped per annum in 2014.  Much of this growth has been driven by the emergence of Activity Tracker devices and consumer demand for these connected devices. Other devices (such as high end Sports and Fitness Smart Watches and Heart Rate Monitors) are also seeing growth but not in the same volumes as Activity Trackers. Smart Clothing is a category of devices that has long term potential, but it is not expected to reach annual shipments >1 million before 2017. It is expected that simple pedometers will continue to have a place in the market but shipments of these have been severely negatively affected as consumers increasingly choose Activity Trackers and Smart Watches with added functionality.

The mHealth Wellness/Sports & Fitness Device market is served by a wide range of suppliers, from well-established health and wellness/sports and fitness device vendors such as Polar, Garmin, Suunto, Omron and Beurer, to newer more focused vendors such as Fitbit and Jawbone, large multinational sports clothing suppliers such as Nike, and many smaller niche suppliers.

These are findings from SensiAn Research’s recently published study on “mHealth Wellness Wearable Devices: Activity Trackers, Sports Watches, Heart Rate Monitors, Smart Sports Clothing, Connected Weighing Scales and Other Consumer Wellness Devices”.

Suunto Range of Devices Added. Wellness / Sports and Fitness Device Database Now >400 Products

The LivingWithoutWires.com mHealth Wellness / Sports & Fitness device database has been updated again, this time an extensive range of Suunto devices have been added and this now brings the total number of devices included to more than 400.

We’ve also opened this up as a free resource to all! :)

Check it out here

Bluetooth SIG Europe Event, Amsterdam Round Up

I was lucky to be able to attend the Bluetooth SIG Europe event in Amsterdam this week (16/17th September 2014) and it was a pleasure to learn about all the interesting applications that Bluetooth is currently being used for and what is on the horizon.

Day 1 kicked off with a keynote from Mark Powell, Exec Director of the SIG and his presentation highlighted just how ubiquitous Bluetooth is today. Two interesting facts were that >70% of all wireless connectivity related projects on Kickstarter and Indiegogo used Bluetooth and that Bluetooth Audio has grown 451% from 2010 to 2013. Pretty staggering really.

There were many presentations that demonstrated Bluetooth use, too many to include in this blog (a full list is here) but we’ll look at some of those that were most interesting to SensiAn Research.

Simon Drabble from Adidas discussed the Adidas miCoach Elite Training System (ETS) and described the way in which many leading football (soccer) teams, including national teams, are using miCoach to improve and track performance of their players. He also discussed consumer applications for this technology and how Adidas are using Bluetooth Smart as part of a range of wireless technologies.

There was an interesting panel session examining the explosion in beacons (a market that SensiAn Research is tracking). Panellists were from two Beacon users (Autograph and LocalSocial) and from two IC vendors (Dialog Semiconductor and Nordic Semiconductor). Some key takeaways were that Beacons are being used in retail today but have a myriad of uses. Beacons can be standalone devices (such as those from Estimote or Kontact.io) but pretty much any Bluetooth Smart device could become a beacon. Today the market is focused on stationary beacons but beacons could move – for example having a beacon in a car could be used to advertise the presence of a vehicle and improve road safety. Sean from LocalSocial coined an interesting phrase “Becosystem” which relates to the ecosystem built around beacon technology.

Dr Kate Stone, Founder of Novalia Ltd talked about her companies various projects using printing techniques to produce smart paper for posters and other interesting printed devices. These combine conventional printing, capacitive touch and Bluetooth for audio streaming and connection to a smartphone. A novel use of Bluetooth to improve existing things.

Day 2 was unfortunately short lived as I needed to catch a flight, but I was invited to join a panel on “The Connected Fitness and Wearables Market” which was timely having recently published a study on the market, see here). I was joined by John Leonard (Nordic Semiconductor), Ernest Chiang (PAFERS Tech) and Pierre Mace (Babolat). The panel discussed innovation in sports and fitness, what would be the next wearable markets to take off, wearable devices use in IoT and interaction with beacons and also the impact of recent devices introductions from Apple, Motorola, Samsung and others on the wearable device market.

Before dashing for the airport I was lucky to catch Radek Tadajewski’s presentation on his company oort’s view of the future connected home. The most interesting thing in my mind about this solution is the hub device that oort has introduced which is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Smart enabled and could be a key bridging device as a Bluetooth-enabled headless gateway in the home.

Moto 360 Available from Today, On Paper It’s Looks Very Impressive But Can It Be Successful in the Market?

 

The eagerly anticipated Moto 360 smartwatch goes on sale today (9/5) and it its specs are very impressive, some that stand out include:

  • Wireless Charging
  • Accelerometer
  • Optical HRM
  • Bluetooth Smart
  • Stereo Mics
  • TI OMAP AP

Moto 360 Dynamic Black

This device really looks like a good all rounder, providing much of the functionality that consumers are looking for in a companion smart watch. The smartwatch/band market is still developing and very fragmented but this could be a good solution for many. This has come a long way since the Moto ACTV (although we still believe this was well ahead of its time).

Motorola has a good chance of getting ahead of its competitors (again) as long as it puts lots of support behind it (users will remember how the Moto ACTV was discarded and will be wary it may happen again).

No doubt many will point to the possibly imminent arrival of an iWatch as the killer of any other smartwatch but I don’t agree. Yes, an iWatch will be successful, if not purely due to the Apple ecosystem but the Android ecosystem has grown significantly over the last few years and we believe there is a place for 3-4 main brands, with a few specialist suppliers on the fringes.

For the last few years start-ups have been the major innovators, now is the time for the incumbents to start to flex their muscles and take over the market as it starts to reach significant volumes. Watch (no pun intended) out for an uptick in mergers and acquisitions in this space as major consumer device manufactures start to gobble up smaller specialist suppliers in order to purchase interesting technology.

This market is just starting to heat up …….

Haptics and Bluetooth Merge in a New Dev Kit from TI

There have recently been many new interesting combinations of technologies coming to market through development kits (see this post) . TI have now released a dev kit that combines haptics and Bluetooth Smart. This allows developers to play around with haptic feedback and control it wirelessly using a Bluetooth Smart connection with a smartphone.

There are also lots of other useful tools such as LED lights and an “audio to haptics” mode which can convert audio signals into haptic feedback.

This is likely to be a very interesting tool for developers looking to create new devices with haptic feedback or for testing new functionality for device upgrades, it has uses across a number of end markets – the smartwatch market being a prime area where haptics could be used to differentiate a product from the growing competition. Perhaps more interesting is its possible use to develop devices that do not have a screen but do have a need for some form of feedback, for instance in small medical devices.

Silent Disco

Wireless Audio in (Mass) Action

Being a bit of a wireless audio geek it probably comes as no surprise that my recent trip to the End of the Road Festival, UK one of the highlights was the Silent Disco.

In a silent disco the revelers are given wireless headphones and are able to choose (usually) between 2 DJ or music streams to dance and or sing to. It all comes together for a unique and really enjoyable experience. You have to try it to really appreciate it!

It’s not new, silent discos have been a regular attraction at music festivals for a 10+ years, the Flaming Lips (which incidentally I also saw at EOTR and where excellent) played one of the first headphone concerts in 1999 at SXSW) but it’s not a common experience for everyone.

So why add this to the LWW blog? Well it is a good example of what can be achieved with wireless audio that wired audio just couldn’t do, imagine groups of people trying to dance around with wired headphones, it would not end well.

FM has largely been the technology of choice for these systems but there is potential for other wireless technology to be used.

It may be a small market when compared to smartphones but it should still be on the radar for equipment and technology vendors. It is growing in popularity not only at music festivals but for cinemas, weddings, etc.

Broadcom Releases Connectivity + Sensors Dev Kit

Broadcom recently released a dev kit that combines both Bluetooth Smart for connectivity and also 5 MEMS sensors, this seems to me to be a good implementation to bring together these two staples of IoT devices and make development of many new devices even simpler.

There are many connectivity suppliers out there and many MEMS sensor suppliers but not many that can do both. It seems likely that partnerships will continue to be made by these largely disparate groups, consolidation is a very likely future trend.

This is not a place to speculate on which companies are likely to consolidate but there are many good combinations that I can think of.

Broadcom’s release is here

 

 

Wireless Connectivity Data for mHealth Wellness Devices

Company Symbol and name

SensiAn Research’s recently published “mHealth Wellness Product and Technology Database 2014″ contains more than 370 devices from more than 100 suppliers.

From the data it is clear that Wireless Connectivity is a key component of the technology that is enabling these devices to operate. Our research shows that almost 80% of mHealth Wellness devices used some form of wireless connectivity.

Some key data includes:

60% are Bluetooth enabled
10% are ANT+ enabled

Almost 10% use a proprietary wireless technology but this number has fallen dramatically in the last few years.

It seems clear that interoperable standards are a key technology that is helping drive growth in this market.

More information is available in a trio of products recently released by SensiAn Research, more details can be found here