Though tech manufacturers are beginning to enter the promising wearable device market, clothing manufacturers are beginning to enter that same market from the other direction. If current trends are anything to go by, athletic clothing companies could lead the way in the next few years with wearable devices and apps designed around fitness.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) this week released a report showing that consumer interest in wearable fitness devices is beginning to rise. The report found that consumer interest in the devices has risen to 13% this year - more than four times the 3% interest found in 2012. This interest has also translated into sales, with the CEA report showing that dedicated wearable fitness device ownership has tripled year-over-year and now sits at 9% for the year 2013.
Over 75% of U.S. consumers now own some form of fitness technology product, making it easy to see why the market for wearable fitness devices is predicted to rise so quickly. CEA predicts that revenues from fitness and activity tracking devices as a whole will surpass $1 billion in 2014.
“CEA projects that the market for dedicated wearable fitness devices like body monitors and pedometers will continue to expand for the foreseeable future as more consumers become aware of these devices and an array of new products enter the market,” said Kevin Tillmann, senior research analyst at CEA.
The report found that over half (52%) of consumers use their wearable fitness devices as a source of motivation. Slightly less than half use the device for monitoring fitness goals or body monitoring during workouts.
While wearable fitness devices sit among calorie-trackers and fitness apps as the most desired fitness products, it could be a while before the devices encounter real competition from the coming wave of smart watches from tech manufacturers. Though Samsung's Galaxy Gear smart watch has found some success, the CEA report shows that only 9% of Americans plan to buy one within the next year. The report also found that active consumers may prefer less-complicated wearable fitness solutions until smart watch technology is refined and proven.