So far, smartwatches and other wearable technologies have been mostly underwhelming to consumers. Despite a huge boom when such devices were first released, users are largely dissuaded by the benefits provided by wearable technology over the handheld mobile technology they are used to,
For entrepreneurs, this is great news.
Oftentimes, industries follow an exponential curve of innovation after market entry, causing entry to become increasingly difficult. With wearable technology, however, early market releases and major functionality issues have created a lull in a market where users have expressed significant interest–interest that will turn into cash for those entrepreneurs who are able to capitalize on user feedback.
Wearable tech Industry growth trends are expected as follows:
Clever entrepreneurs may look to niche-specific wearable technology to begin research for an industry that is expected to once again begin to grow quickly as device functionality provides users with greater value for their tech investments.
Health and fitness is among the biggest current segments of the wearable technology industry, with well-known devices such as the Fitbit. Sleep and activity trackers offer users insight into their daily habits, usually alongside apps that provide actionable feedback for users who desire to improve their health, fitness, and lives.
Another market that has been exploring the benefits of wearable technology is military and defense. The ability to track vital signs in the field while maintaining communication with other servicemembers all the while not fussing with bulky electronics is a game changer for field operations. The accuracy of these devices may also triumph over more traditional methods.
Children are receiving their own forms of wearable technologies that offer friendship, play, and learning opportunities to children while keeping parents informed about the locations and habits.
Playcelets creates bracelets specifically designed with children in mind that light up different colors to signal play availability. It is a social network that not only provides children realtime, face-to-face play opportunities, but also helps parents track what is going on within this children’s social network, including who their children are playing with.
Another new and truly disruptive use of wearable technology is for virtual reality applications.
Using high-tech HaptX fabric, this VR exoskeleton harnesses “microfluidic actuators” to simulate physical sensations in virtual reality all over a user’s body. This flexible textile can alter temperature quickly and to extremes and also simulate weight, shape, texture, and impact. The technology claims to simulate “sensations ranging from the brush of a butterfly's wings to the impact of a punch”
Business Insider agrees that a market opportunity exists for those who can increase functionality and so re-engage users to the benefits that exist with wearable technology, and also express that Apple’s early entry into this field may not dictate future growth.
Because users have already expressed interested in wearable technology, entrepreneurs can enter this field aware of a pre-existing demand, yet within a substantially barren and unrealized market. This is a rare opportunity for those in business.
What do you want to see from wearable technology? Did you try it during the first boom? If so, what would you change?