With consumers now highly interested in wearable devices and the smart watch industry set to skyrocket in the coming years, analysts are now predicting that wearable computing could be the next big tech segment. Market research firm ABI Research today predicted that wearable device revenues will to $6 billion within five years.
Though smart watches from manufacturers such as Sony and Samsung have been getting recent headlines, ABI sees more practical applications as leading the wearable device industry. The "sports, fitness, and wellness" category in particular is predicted to lead the market segment, making up at least 50% of total market shipments over the next five years.
“Fitness activity trackers are quickly gaining popularity in the market, said Adarsh Krishnan, senior analyst at ABI. "Different from other more single-use or event-centric devices, activity trackers monitor multiple characteristics of the human body including movement, calories burned, body temperature, and sleep tracking."
With an aging Baby Boomer generation, home medical monitoring devices will also form a large part of the wearable device segment. These devices will eventually include wearable emergency response devices. From now until 2018 the compound annual growth rate of home monitoring devices is expected by ABI to grow at 39%.
A third product segment, remote patient monitoring, was also mentioned by ABI. These products are not expected to make up as large a part of the wearable device market, as such products are more expensive and could even be replaced soon by mobile apps.