Displaying items by tag: Wearables

Qualcomm develops biometric wearable medical patches

Written on Monday, 02 October 2017 10:36

Qualcomm has designed and developed breakthrough reference designs  for connected medical-grade biometric patches that will enable a multitude of intelligent care models, from perioperative care (the period around the time of a surgical operation) to assessing the impact of therapeutic interventions.

Designed to allow healthcare professionals to monitor patients across the care continuum with access to near real-time data, the patches measure a variety of biometric parameters, including clinical thermometry and sophisticated motion measurements. Benchmark Electronics, a global provider of integrated electronics manufacturing, design and engineering services, will serve as the design and manufacturer of the sensors.

“This wearable patch technology will be transformative in its ability to provide timely and accurate data to enable care providers to make better-informed decisions.” said James Mault, MD, FACS, senior vice president and Chief Medical Officer, Qualcomm Life.

“Utilizing Qualcomm’s 30 years of leadership in inventing new connected “things,” this low-power, cost-effective, single-use design will fuel new, scalable care models as we transition as an industry from episodic, reactive care to more continuous, proactive, intelligent care,” Mault added.

As a part of the collaboration, Qualcomm Incorporated, Qualcomm Life, Inc. and Benchmark Electronics entered into a Healthcare Product License Agreement, which allows Benchmark to license reference designs for Qualcomm Life’s biometric patches. Clinical validation is currently underway, and the patches are slated to be commercially available through Benchmark in 2018.

“We are thrilled to work with Qualcomm Life, a global leader in inventing revolutionary connected technologies, to create a new packaged sensor offering for health care companies that is economical, secure and user friendly,” said Paul Tufano, CEO, Benchmark Electronics. “This collaboration aligns with our mission to deliver high-value solutions and innovative technology for our customers.”

The patches were developed on Qualcomm Life’s 2net™ Design platform, a reference design platform for electronics modules which power connected medical devices, including disposable drug delivery devices and disposable diagnostic devices. 2net Design leverages Qualcomm’s expertise in developing innovative reference designs for wireless, power-efficient, small-integrated modules to create smarter, more affordable and intuitive medical devices.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Xiaomi maintains lead in wearables for second quarter

Written on Sunday, 10 September 2017 08:14

Chinese firm Xiaomi maintained its lead in wearables for the second quarter of 2017, as the worldwide wearables market once again showed positive growth as shipments grew 10.3 percent year-on-year, reaching 26.3 million, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker.

The second quarter of 2017 marked a turning point in the market as wearables (those that do not run third party apps) declined for the first time with annual growth of -0.9 percent, IDC said. Meanwhile, smartwatches like the Apple Watch and Android Wear lineup grew 60.9 percent in the quarter thanks to fitness and fashion enthusiasts.

"The transition towards more intelligent and feature-filled wearables is in full swing," said Jitesh Ubrani senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers. "For years, rudimentary fitness trackers have acted as a gateway to smartwatches and now we're at a point where brands and consumers are graduating to a more sophisticated device.

“Previous niche features such as GPS and additional health tracking capabilities are quickly becoming staples of the modern smartwatch,” Ubrani continued. “Just a year ago only 24.5 percent of all wearables had embedded GPS while today that number has reached almost 41.7 percent.”

Xiaomi maintained its lead in the second quarter as the company's expertise in driving low-cost devices remains unmatched, said ICD. Though the Mi Band lineup was the most popular, Xiaomi also caters to the growing market of kids' devices and recently shipped its first pair of smart shoes under the Mijia brand. Shipments for the shoes were immaterial during the quarter though IDC anticipates this to gradually grow as Xiaomi gains traction in the clothing/apparel industry.

The second most successful wearables brand in Q2 was Apple thanks to its Series 1 and Series 2 smartwatches which are now mature products with the clear and concise purpose of fitness. This has boded well for Apple as the company has been slowly expanding its reach among health insurance providers. The release of the latest Watch OS later this year is also expected to bring much anticipated features like a Siri watch face to the wrist.

Fitbit, which took third place, finds itself in a period of transition, says IDC. Early leaks and the recent official announcement of the Fitbit Ionic will help cement the company's place in the growing smartwatch market. However, short-term growth remains challenged as the product portfolio is vast and undifferentiated.

"There is growing interest from the medical industry to adopt wearables and consumer expectations are also on the rise. This is where companies like Apple and Fitibit have the potential to maintain their lead as their investments in the tracking and perhaps diagnosing of diseases will be a clear differentiator from low-cost rivals,” said Ubrani.

In fourth place was Garmin which saw a decline of 6.6 percent from last year. IDC says this should not necessarily be seen as negative as the company has managed to grow revenue. Transitioning existing users from basic fitness trackers to more advanced smartwatches like the Fenix lineup has worked well for the company, IDC said. Recent developer outreach has also allowed Garmin's ConnectIQ platform to branch outside health and fitness.

US firm Fossil entered the top five for the first time and much of this is credited to the acquisition of Misfit in late 2015, said IDC. With a large distribution network of fashion stores and multiple brands Fossil managed to attract a previously unaware audience to the wearables market. While smartwatches from Michael Kors and Fossil took center stage, the company's hybrid watch lineup also gained traction.

"Market growth favored new and emerging products in the second quarter," noted Ramon Llamas, research manager for IDC's Wearables team. "Smartwatches recorded double-digit year-over-year growth, with much of that increase attributable to a growing number of models aimed at specific market segments, like the fashion-conscious and outdoor enthusiasts in addition to the technophile crowd, lower price points, and a slowly-warming reception from consumers and enterprise users alike.”

Llamas added, “Factor in how smartwatches are taking steps to become standalone devices, and more applications are becoming available, and the smartwatch slowly becomes a more suitable mass market product.”

Published in Gadget

Fitbit launches first smartwatch packed with capabilities

Written on Monday, 04 September 2017 11:54

California-based wearables company Fitbit has launched its first smartwatch called Fitbit Iconic – a health and fitness platform, offering a highly personalized experience. It features a SpO2 sensor, making it possible to track deeper health insights like sleep apnea in the future, as well as advanced GPS, on-device dynamic workouts, improved heart rate tracking, and water resistance up to 50 meters.

Fitbit Iconic also features contactless payments, on-board music, smart notifications, and a variety of popular apps and clock faces available in the Fitbit App Gallery. The device comes with all the core features that Fitbit is known for, such as 4+ day battery lie, automatic activity and sleep tracking, and cross-platform compatibility.

You can pre-order a Fitbit Iconic today for $299.95 from Fitbic.com and in retailers starting October 2017, with a new Fitbit Iconic Adidas special edition device coming in 2018. The relationship will leverage Adidas’ robust performance program expertise with Fitbit data and insights from millions of global users to help athletes of all levels perform better, play better and feel better.

The device is available in three color combinations “inspired by elevating everyday neutrals that fit seamlessly into your life”: silver gray tracker and clasp with blue gray band, smoke gray tracker and clasp with charcoal band, or burnt orange tracker and clasp with slate blue band.

The Fitbit app software development kit (SDK) will be open to developers in September 2017.

“Ten years ago, Fitbit pioneered the wearables category with the introduction of its first health and fitness tracker. Since then, we have become the leading global wearables brand, setting the pace of innovation in the category and establishing the largest social fitness network that helps millions of people around the world be healthier,” said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit.

“With Ionic, we will deliver what consumers have not yet seen in a smartwatch – a health and fitness first platform that combines the power of personalization and deeper insights with our most advanced technology to date, unlocking opportunities for unprecedented health tracking capabilities in the future,” Park added.

In March 2017, IDC reported that the worldwide wearables market reached a new all-time high as shipments reached 33.9 million units in the fourth quarter of 2016, growing 16.9 percent year on year. Shipments for the entire year grew 25 percent as new vendors entered the market and previous champions refreshed their product lineups. 

Fitbit maintained its dominance in the wearables market, holding the top position for both the quarter and the year. However, the company also faced one of its largest declines ever as it remained heavily focused on the US, a market that is quickly approaching saturation for fitness trackers. Though the company has grown in other parts of the world, it also remained challenged as low-cost competitors eat away at Fitbit's market share. 

Published in Gadget

Xiaomi becomes world's no.1 wearables vendor in Q2 2017

Written on Thursday, 10 August 2017 10:05

Xiaomi captured 17 percent of the global wearables marketshare in Q2 2017 and became the world’s largest wearables vendor for the first time ever, overtaking Fitbit and Apple, according to Strategy Analytics research. Global wearables shipments reached 22 million units in the quarter.

Steven Waltzer, Industry Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, “Global wearables shipments reached 21.6 million units in Q2 2017, rising 8 percent annually from 20.0 million in Q2 2016. Strong demand for low-cost fitness-bands in China and premium smartwatches across the United States drove the uptick.”

Xiaomi shipped 3.7 million wearables worldwide in Q2 2017, rising 23 percent annually from 3.0 million units in Q2 2016. Xiaomi captured 17 percent global marketshare and overtook Fitbit and Apple to become the world’s largest wearables vendor.

Xiaomi’s Mi Band fitness trackers are wildly popular in China, due to their highly competitive pricing and rich features such as heart-rate monitors, step-counters and calendar alerts, said Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics. 

Fitbit shipped 3.4 million wearables for 16 percent marketshare worldwide in Q2 2017, almost halving from 29 percent a year ago. Fitbit is at risk of being trapped in a pincer movement between the low-end fitness-bands sold by Xiaomi and the fitness-led, high-end smartwatches sold by Apple, he said.

“Apple shipped 2.8 million wearables worldwide in Q2 2017, growing 56 percent annually from 1.8 million in Q2 2016,” said Cliff Raskind, Director at Strategy Analytics.

“Apple has for now lost its wearables leadership to Xiaomi, due to a lack of presence in the sizeable fitness-band subcategory. However, the rumored upcoming Watch Series 3 launch with enhanced health tracking could prove to be a popular smartwatch model and enable Apple to reclaim the top wearables spot later this year.”

Published in Gadget

Wearables are the future, not smartphones

Written on Thursday, 20 July 2017 07:27

There’s been talk among analysts that smartphones will slowly become redundant in the future and make way for more innovative communication platforms. Despite the fact that US consumers now own 27 million more smartphones than they did last year, wearables will eventually take the lead, some analysts speculate, as communication requirements evolve over time.

The wearable technology market is expected to grow from US$15.74 billion in 2015 to US$51.60 billion by 2022, at a compound annual growth rate of 15.51 percent between 2016 and 2022, according to market research report ‘Wearable Technology Market by Product, Type, Application, and Geography - Global Forecast to 2022’. This strong growth begs the question: could wearable technology replace the trusty smartphone?  

The future growth of the wearable technology market, according to the research report, is expected to be driven by consumer preference for more sophisticated gadgets, increasing growth prospects of next generation displays in wearable devices, and the growing popularity of internet of things (IoT) and connected devices. The increasing demand for smart gadgets and gaming devices for interactive gaming and entertainment is “driving the growth of the wearable technology market for the consumer electronics vertical.”

“I don’t think smartphones are going to disappear in the short-term, but the usage of smartphones may change as people begin to use them for different things, from entertainment to communication,” said Hani Yassan, senior director of Technology at Qualcomm, speaking recently at 5G MENA in Dubai. “The change in usage will be driven by all the advances in technology that we are seeing through LTE and 5G.”

Analyst Jonathan Collins, research director at ABI Research covering smart homes, believes that smartphones will remain the central interface in most locations, but will sit alongside other interfaces in the homes of consumers, such as AI-powered digital assistants (e.g. Amazon Echo, Google Home). Google CEO Sundar Pichai even suggested in 2016 that the world is moving from being “mobile first” to “AI first”.

Contrary to this argument, the Consumer Technology Association’s 19th Annual Consumer Technology Ownership and Market Potential Study says televisions remain the most popular technology device in the US, as they have for decades: almost every household (96 percent) owns at least one TV. However, from 2016 to 2017, the US market saw an increase in the overall installed base of connected devices including smart home devices, smart TVs, wearables and wireless speakers.

Smart home devices, smart TVs, smartwatches, wearable activity trackers and wireless speakers each saw an increase in household ownership of four percent year on year, according to the study. The wearable tech market is thriving, despite the fact that some wearable fitness brands, such as Fitbit, have lost demand, IDC’s Worldwide Wearable Device Tracker indicates.

In March 2017, IDC reported that the worldwide wearables market reached a new all-time high as shipments reached 33.9 million units in the fourth quarter of 2016, growing 16.9 percent year on year. Shipments for the entire year grew 25 percent as new vendors entered the market and previous champions refreshed their product lineups.

Xiaomi’s wearable products experienced the fastest growth, up 96.2 percent from 2.6 million to 5.2 million, due partly to its growing exposure to the Western world, but also because of Chinese shipments for its newest trackers such as the Mi Band Pulse. Apple also experienced a steady increase in growth, from 4.1 million to 4.6 million, following the launch of the Apple Watch Series 2.

Fitbit maintained its dominance in the wearables market, holding the top position for both the quarter and the year. However, the company also faced one of its largest declines ever as it remained heavily focused on the US, a market that is quickly approaching saturation for fitness trackers. Though the company has grown in other parts of the world, it also remained challenged as low-cost competitors eat away at Fitbit's market share.

Samsung, on the other hand, is the only major player offering cellular-enabled wearables (Gear S3 and Frontier). LTE connectivity has been a key differentiator for Samsung's watches as it has helped decouple them from smartphones, but more importantly it has opened up a new channel (telcos) to help promote the Samsung watches. Outside of watches, Samsung's portfolio also includes the Gear Fit 2 and the Icon X, though without any smartphone bundles, volumes for these wearables were lower than expected. 

Early on, the wearables market was split between those that were capable of running third party applications and basic wearables that couldn’t. However, despite the additional features and tech available on smart wearables, their utility and necessity has been “questionable”. Earlier this year, two major platforms, WatchOS and Android Wear, pivoted towards fitness and health applications. This is no accident, says IDC, as that has been the only use case with any "stickiness" and the ability to run third party apps has taken a backseat.

“Like any technology market, the wearables market is changing,” noted Ramon Llamas, research manager for IDC's Wearables team. “Basic wearables started out as single-purpose devices tracking footsteps and are morphing into multi-purpose wearable devices, fusing together multiple health and fitness capabilities and smartphone notifications. It's enough to blur the lines against most smart wearables, to the point where first generation smartwatches are no better than most fitness trackers.”

“Meanwhile, smart wearables are also evolving,” Llamas continued. “Health and fitness remains a major focus, but once these devices become connected to a cellular network, expect unique applications and communications capabilities to become available. This will also solve another key issue: freeing the device from the smartphone, creating a standalone experience.”

The evolution of smartphones into more wearable and practical communication tools could greatly benefit the emergency response sector, says Peter Clemons, founder and managing director at Quixoticity, a company founded in 2012 to develop new ideas in the field of critical communications.

Critical communications, emergency services and public safety currently function with mission critical voice and data which is limited and not always 100% reliable. This has served the industry sufficiently, says Clemons, but 5G will be able to open up new possibilities for the sector in terms of wearables, remote surgery, autonomous vehicles, etc., for use by first responders and for utilities by transport companies to have more awareness of a situation and to respond effectively.

“Particularly in the emergency services space, there needs to be a response as soon as an incident happens. The first responder has to be completely focused on the incident. The smartphone is not a particularly good device for emergency services,” said Clemons, adding that emergency responders could benefit from imbedding communications into uniforms to provide in-built coverage.

“If Steve Jobs had lived longer I think he would have already made the iPhone obsolete, but I think the people who took over from him saw the cash-cow in it and it may take a new company to disrupt that,” Clemons said. “We are just at the beginning of a long road towards where we want to get to, and it’s important for us to continue taking advantage of existing investments that have been made.”

2016 proved that there is more to wearables than just wrist-worn devices, according to IDC. Ear-worn devices (hearables) surpassed 1 percent of all shipments for the first time in a quarter and sensor-laden clothing accounted for more than 1 percent of the entire market for the full year 2016. Though these numbers were miniscule, they show promise as numerous new devices are expected from notable vendors in 2017 and beyond.

Published in Featured

Ericsson has published its latest ConsumerLab report, From Healthcare to Homecare. The report reveals consumer insights into the impact of 5G on the future of healthcare and its transformation across preventative, routine, and post-operative care.

The report states that next-generation networks will be pivotal in healthcare transformation, providing transmission efficiency in an ecosystem of feedback and alerts, mobility and low latency. The networks will become a vehicle for a range of applications, including remote monitoring through medical-grade wearables, virtual doctor-patient interaction, and remotely operated robotic surgery.

Key findings include the decentralization of healthcare moving from hospitals towards homes. Also, that patient data is becoming more centralized, turning hospitals into data centers. Increasing dependence on wearables and remote treatments makes 5G essential to provide reliable and secure services. Evolving consumer expectations, anytime patient data access, and increased internet use are also making way for non-traditional players to disrupt the healthcare industry.

This report covers insights from an online survey of 4,500 advanced smartphone/mobile broadband users in Germany, Japan, South Korea, the UK and the US plus an online survey of 900 decision makers across six industries in these countries – healthcare, insurance, medical technology companies, telecom operators, app developers/aggregators and government regulatory bodies.

Published in Internet of Things

Qualcomm Incorporated through its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., announced at its Internet of Things (IoT) industry analyst workshop that the company is currently shipping more than 1 million chips per day for the Internet of Things.

This momentum reflects Qualcomm Technologies' unique ability to invent and deliver the technologies needed for the IoT, and to meet challenging customer requirements for interoperability, connectivity, compute and security.

The company uses its technical expertise to design platforms that help customers commercialize IoT products quickly and cost-effectively in areas including wearables, voice and music, connected cameras, robotics and drones, home control and automation, home entertainment, and commercial and industrial IoT.

"We are focused on significantly expanding capabilities at the edge of the network by supporting everyday objects with the connectivity, compute and security technologies required to build a powerful Internet of Things, where devices are smart, convenient, work well together and incorporate advanced security features," said Raj Talluri, senior vice president, product management, IoT, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

"While hundreds of brands have shipped over 1.5 billion IoT products using our solutions, we are just getting a glimpse of the benefits that the IoT can deliver, with analysts estimating that IoT applications could have a total economic impact of up to 11 trillion dollars a year by 2025. We have built strong capabilities on top of our leadership in mobile inventions, and we are innovating in exciting new areas such as deep learning, voice interface and LTE IoT that will power a new generation of IoT devices."

Qualcomm Technologies' traction in IoT spans across a variety of ecosystems. For instance, the company's wearables platforms have been adopted in more than 150 wearable designs, and over 80 percent of Android Wear™ smartwatches launched or announced are based on Snapdragon Wear 2100. In smart homes, more than 125 million TVs, home entertainment and other connected home products from leading brands have shipped using Qualcomm Technologies' connectivity chips.

For commercial and industrial IoT applications, over 30 designs are using the company's MDM9206 modem with multimode support for LTE categories M1 and NB1, E-GPRS and global RF bands. MDM9206 is purposely developed for IoT applications and is commercially available today.

To address this wide variety of ecosystems, form factors and requirements in the IoT, Qualcomm Technologies offers one of the broadest portfolios of chips and platforms, including mobile, multimedia, cellular, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth system-on-chips. These solutions include comprehensive software with platform-specific applications and APIs, as well as support for multiple communication protocols, operating systems and cloud services.

To further help manufacturers develop IoT devices quickly and cost-effectively, Qualcomm Technologies makes available more than 25 production-ready reference design platforms through a network of original design manufacturers (ODMs) for products including voice-enabled home assistants, connected cameras, drones, VR headsets, lighting, appliances and smart hubs/gateways.

Published in Internet of Things

Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, have completed China’s first end-to-end data call using new cellular Internet of Things (IoT) eMTC/Cat-M1 technology. The test was achieved in the lab of the research division of China Mobile – China Mobile Research Institute (CMRI) – on November 11, 2016, during a data call using Qualcomm Technologies MDM9206 LTE modem, and communicating live over the air to Ericsson’s radio access network.

The call focused on the evaluation of eMTC/Cat-M1, a new cellular IoT technology that was standardized in 3GPP Release 13 for low-power wide-area (LPWA) applications and services. The technology is suited to support many LPWA use cases requiring higher mobility support, including vehicle telematics, consumer wearables, and more. It achieves better performance than the existing 4G technology in terminal cost, standby time and coverage.

Ericsson is working closely with leading companies to accelerate the pace of development and commercialization of the ecosystem for cellular IoT solutions. The commercial software product for eMTC/Cat-M1 will be available at the end of 2016, together with support from the Ericsson Radio System.

Vieri Vanghi, Vice President, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., says: “We are very pleased with China Mobile’s successful end-to-end data call utilizing cellular IoT eMTC/Cat-M1 technology based on our MDM9206 modem. This is an important milestone that supports the delivery of a new range of IoT services, including smart energy, asset tracking, industrial control and automation, and building security. We look forward to further working with China Mobile and Ericsson to bring these types of services to users in China.”

Chris Houghton, Head of Region North East Asia, Ericsson, says: “Ericsson is pleased to collaborate with China Mobile and Qualcomm to embrace the opportunities of cellular IoT. With our global leadership and experience in IoT, we will work hand in hand with our customers and partners to realize the full potential of the Networked Society.”

The MDM9206 modem represents Qualcomm Technologies’ latest innovation, supporting low-power, low-bandwidth and cost efficient IoT applications and services. It is designed to support LTE category M1, upgradeable to LTE M1+ NB-1 dual mode with an anticipated upcoming software update.

The dual-mode approach combines the best of both technologies and provides a global, scalable solution for IoT products, well suited for a diverse set of operator deployments. The category M1 and NB-1 LTE modes designed in the MDM9206 modem bring many enhancements and optimizations to LTE that will help reduce IoT device complexity. The new technologies can also coexist with today’s LTE infrastructure and spectrum, which offers a superior solution to proprietary technologies for LPWA networks. 

Published in Telecom Vendors

One of the most unusual wearable ideas has been cooked up by a group of PhD students from the MIT Media Lab and researchers from Microsoft Research. It’s a temporary tattoo concept dubbed DuoSkin - both functional and fashionable – that can turn into a touchpad, remotely control a smartphone, or share data using NFC (Near Field Communication).

The students shared their innovative idea on MIT’s website. Their DuoSkin concept will be presented in full at a wearable symposium in September, according to a report by The Verge. Any graphic software can be used to design a circuit, the researchers said, and then stamp out the tattoo in gold leaf (conductive to electricity), and then apply other commodity materials and components to make the tattoo interactive.

Some of the use-cases included in the paper written by the researchers include turning your skin into a trackpad. You could also design it to change color based on temperature, or even pull data from the tattoo. An image shared on the MIT website shows a smart tattoo with LED lights, creating a glowing effect on the surrounding skin.

There have been similar cases of researchers attempting to turn skin into a form of touchscreen. For instance, in 2010, a Carnegie Mellon student who was also in collaboration with Microsoft Research, developed a technology called Skinput, which was designed to turn your wrist or the back of your hand into a “gestural finger input canvas”. But the concept didn’t progress because it was expensive to manufacture and it required technology to project an interface onto the skin.

The DuoSkin has much more potential, since it can be applied as simply as a regular temporary tattoo. All you have to do is place it on your skin, apply a damp cloth, peel off the tattoo paper, and eventually remove it. The DuoSkin has been compared to ‘smart’ patches being used in experiments by health and consumer products goods companies, The Verge reports. The design brings us further into the Internet of Things realm, where all devices are connected to everything, including us.

Published in Gadget

In the new Ericsson ConsumerLab report: “Wearable technology and the Internet of Things”, six in 10 smartphone users state that wearables have uses beyond health and wellness. Devices related to personal safety and security, such as panic buttons and personal locators, attract most interest. Top 5 most-wanted wearables across five markets surveyed (% interested and willing to buy):

  1. Panic/SOS button: 32%
  2. Smartwatch: 28%
  3. Wearable Location Tracker: 27%
  4. Identity Authenticator: 25%
  5. Wearable Water Purifier: 24%

The report captures the opinions of 5,000 smartphone users (of which 2,500 are wearable users) in Brazil, China, South Korea, the United Kingdom and United States, representing the views of 280 million smartphone users globally. In addition to the top five most-wanted wearables, it shows consumers predict a booming wearables market beyond 2020, as well as that wearables might replace smartphones and will help consumers interact with physical things and objects in the Internet of Things (IoT) era:

A booming wearables market beyond 2020

Ownership of wearables among smartphone users in the surveyed markets has doubled in the past year. However, consumers predict it will take at least another year for the current generation of wearables to go mainstream. A more diverse set of wearables, such as personal safety devices and smart garments, will go mainstream beyond 2020 – but when they do, a booming market can be expected. One in three smartphone users believe they will use at least five connected wearables beyond 2020.

Wearables to turn smartphones into just screens

The integration of smartphones into every aspect of daily life makes it hard to envisage a future without them. But with two in five (43%) smartphone users expecting wearables might replace smartphones, this could indeed happen – although it may take some time. As wearables get smarter and more independent in terms of factors such as connectivity, the smartphone screen may become less significant. Thirty-eight percent of smartphone users say wearables will be used to perform most smartphone functions within just five years.

Jasmeet Singh Sethi, Consumer Insight Expert, Ericsson ConsumerLab, says: “Early signs of detachment from smartphones are visible today with 40 percent of today’s smartwatch users already interacting less with their smartphones.”

Wearables bringing people into IoT

Wearable technology will also accelerate the convergence of the digital and human worlds, by bringing people into the Internet of Things. While consumers are confident that wearable technology will help them interact with objects in their surroundings, they also say that this technology may not necessarily be devices.

60 percent believe that ingestible pills and chips under the skin will be commonly used in the next five years – not only to track vital health data, but also to unlock doors, authenticate transactions and identity, and to control objects. Already today, 25 percent of smartwatch owners use their smartwatch to remotely control other digital devices at home, and 30 percent use voice search on their smartwatches.

Sing Sethi says: “Although consumers show greatest interest in devices related to safety, we also see openness to wearable technology further away from today’s generation. In five years’ time, walking around with an ingestible sensor, which tracks your body temperature and adjusts the thermostat setting automatically once you arrive home, may be a reality.”

Published in Internet of Things