PULSE

Issue 4

Hear, There, and Every Wear: Smart Apparel

April 2019

Wearables have come and gone like offbeat inventions in a sci-fi movie, never quite grabbing a firm hold in consumer’s minds. However, with the explosion of Fitbit trackers, the Apple Watch, and voice assistants like Siri, the promise of integrating clothing and accessories is no longer the stuff of fantasy. This month’s Pulse looks at the future of wearable devices.
CCS Insight forecasts global sales of smart wearable devices will grow strongly over the next five years. The global market will be worth nearly $30 billion by 2023. Smartwatches will continue their solid progress, as the “halo” effect of the Apple Watch shines on products from the likes of Fitbit, Fossil, Samsung, and Huawei. Greater adoption of smartwatches, smart hearables, and smart shoes will lead to sales of 260 million units in 2023, creating a market worth almost $30 billion.
The market for wearable technology is forecast to grow 15% to 198.5 million units in 2019. Yearly growth of about 9% means the market will expand to 279 million devices by the end of 2023. Smartwatches will grow their share of the entire wearables market to 47% by 2023 from 44% last year; Apple's WatchOS mobile operating system will power 28% of all smartwatches by 2023. Earwear, frequently called "hearables" or "ear-worn devices," will be the second-biggest category with a 31% share by 2023. Biometric sensors and virtual assistants will support the category's growth.
Advances in the area of nanotech have powered the development of smart clothing, which merges electronics with textiles. In the past, smart clothing was praised for its innovation, but rarely for its aesthetics. That’s starting to change, though, with new solutions in the field proving that high-tech clothing can be both innovative and aesthetically pleasing. However, factors such as high cost and lack of consumer awareness still create challenges for smart clothing manufacturers.
Although some wearables failed to deliver on early hype, the overall market continues to grow as new use cases emerge. One device that could take off is hearables. Headphones such as AirPods have been getting incrementally smarter over the past few years. As voice interfaces become more important and biometric sensors more prevalent, it makes a lot of sense for functions now embedded in phones to shift to smart headphones, aka hearables.
APIs, product developers, and mobile app engineers have made wearable devices seamless with our everyday lives. The data they collect is presented to help us be more productive, proactive, and in some cases, more healthy. B2C spoke with top-rated Upwork freelancer and iOS developer Scott Brower to hear about state of wearables and how they’re likely to evolve in 2019.
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Knowing that marketers are increasingly challenged in their efforts to keep up with the latest trends and technologies, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) tasked itself with creating a program designed to help marketers anticipate—and prepare for—the future of marketing.

 

ANA Marketing Futures is what emerged. With a focus on innovative topics and emerging trends, ANA Marketing Futures provides resources that will influence and inform via member cases, research studies, and insight from industry innovators. Check back often to learn about emerging trends and become inspired to take steps toward the growth of your business.

 

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