What's the Future of Smartwatches?

Updated: Feb 15

It basically takes two seconds of Googling to discover that a whole lot of people believe wearables are the future of technology. The global market for smartwatches is expected to grow from USD 41.86 billion in 2017 to USD 109.28 billion by 2023, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.34% during the forecast period.

IoT-driven (Internet of Things) smartwatches are a key trend that will not only operate as a standalone technology but interact with other IoT-devices to vastly improve a user's quality of life.

The Kaa IoT platform complements wearable technology, such as a smartwatch with superb ready-to-use IoT functions and applications. Kaa is easily integrated with tiny microchips in wearable devices. It enables instant interoperability, device management, data collection, events and rules execution, security, and other features, which will drive the market in the future.

What catches our eye:

  • Increasing demand for wireless sports and fitness devices is driving the market. Currently, the use of smartwatches among cyclers, runners, gym-goers, swimmers, and athletes is increasing rapidly, owing to their wide range of monitoring capabilities. The wireless synchronization of these watches with smartphones enables users to control music, notifications, alarms, auto sleep, and other functions, which drives the growth of the market.

  • An increase in health awareness among the consumer is driving the market. Consumers across the world are spending a lot on health monitoring gadgets. The recent Apple watch series 4 can track heart rate, nervous system, emergency, or inactivity alerts, and health-related events. Using a smartwatch, a user can take the required precautions in advance by consulting doctors. Doctors can easily track patient health status remotely through the smartwatch and can treat them as per the requirement.

  • According to the survey from Rock Health on digital health adoption, in 2018, wearable adoption increased rapidly from 24% in 2017 to 33% in 2018. More consumers are leveraging such devices to address critical health needs rather than just fitness tracking.

  • Moreover, the ongoing technological advancements by market players are also stimulating the growth of smartwatches, as they are technical products that require constant R&D for different features. In 2019, Fossil launched the Fossil Sport smartwatch. This smartwatch is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor and runs the newly-redesigned Wear OS by Google. This product is ideal for all health and activity enthusiasts.

  • One of the major reasons for consumers not opting for smartwatches is the lack of awareness about their utility. The technology used in smartwatches and the complexity of the devices is major key restraints for the market.

Medical & Fitness to Account for a Significant Market Share

Monitoring health has been the most advantageous aspect of wearables technology. Not only does it help fitness-enthusiasts by providing them with necessary health parameters but also aids patients by providing insights on their conditions. People are more worried about their health and this has led to an increase in shipment of fitness trackers. Since every smartwatch has a component of a fitness tracker, the popularity growth of the smartwatch is increasing significantly, as it has multi-functional features for recording health parameters.

Saving on both time and resources, smartwatches are helping doctors by rendering some complex and significant information. Medical professionals are being backed by this data in solving puzzles, like what would be the impact of a new drug, or the constant monitoring of recovery status of an operated patient, and much more.

The accelerometers built into smartwatches can potentially be deployed to detect seizures and tremors, particularly with conditions like epilepsy. When epilepsy seizures happen, quick and effective treatment is an essential part of making sure the risks of long-term damage to the body are minimized. If smartwatches can be used to alert friends, family, and healthcare workers about seizures that could make a huge difference for patient recovery.

Fitbit is working towards clinical validation and regulatory approval of its software for use in detecting health conditions, such as sleep apnea and atrial fibrillation, which will help in promoting health fitness and growth of the market.