Smart watches to emerge as leading wearable by 2018

Smart watches

Juniper’s new report titled “Smart Health & Fitness Wearables: Device Strategies, Trends & Forecasts 2014-2019” shows there will be around 19 million fitness wearables in use this year. This market is expected to keep steady numbers by 2018, when smart watches will take over the fitness devices market.

The research firm distinguishes between two classes of devices – basic trackers like the $13 Xiaomi MiBand, and more complex devices such as the Fitbit Surge, Microsoft Band and Samsung Gear Fit that come with additional features beyond fitness, such as notifications and music control. Smart watch and fitness devices products are offering similar functions so users will decided which device to buy solely on aesthetics of device.

Another big growth area for wearable devices are those focused on healthcare, like wearable ECGs (electrocardiograms), glucose monitors and insulin pumps. The only challenge that this type of wearables face is government regulations.

The leader of fitness tracking market on the long run will remain Fitbit, despite their decision not to integrate with Apple Health. With engagement a key pain point for fitness wearables, start-up GOQii is pioneering a new service-based business model, offering contact with fitness coaches alongside their device. The Apple Watch is also expected to have a big impact on the market…