Connected clothing ‘to be worth $1bn by 2020’

The wearables market is beginning to shift away from wrist-based devices such as smartwatches and fitness trackers, with other device categories forecast for greater growth.

This is according to a study from Juniper Research, which predicted that the total smart wearables market will reach almost 350 million devices shipped by 2020. Around 137 million of these devices are smartwatches and activity trackers.

However Juniper has forecast that growth for wrist-based wearables will start to slow, while connected clothing growth is expected to accelerate. This is due to developments in conductive fabric, alongside smart sportswear from companies like Sensoria, Lumo and Under Armour. The research predicts that the sector will ship over seven million by 2020, before reaching almost 30 million by 2022.

Other segments will struggle to monetise data services, with consumer fitness and smartwatch service revenues generating a combined $125 million in 2022.

Research author James Moar explained: “A key challenge for wearables is to provide a concrete benefit or unique data. All our top growth segments either provide in-depth data from specialised form factors, or benefits that do not involve data at all.”

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