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The global wearable sensors market generated revenue worth $157.4 million in 2014 and is expected to register a CAGR 46.6% during the forecast period 2015–2020. The market is mainly driven by advancements in the sensor technology and the increasing demand for wearables for health monitoring, especially in infants. In addition, the development and fusion of wireless communication techniques, sensor technologies, and high-performance data-processing algorithms have provided an impetus to the demand for wearable sensors across the globe.
GLOBAL WEARABLE SENSORS MARKET, (2015–2020) MILLION UNITS
Based on application, the wearable sensors market is categorized into smart wristwear, smart glasses, smart bodywear, smart footwear, and others. Among these, the smart wristwear category held the largest share in the market in 2014, which can be mainly attributed to the high adoption of smart wristwear for healthcare applications, such as for monitoring heartbeat and blood pressure.
Based on end use, the wearable sensors market is classified into three types: consumer, healthcare, and enterprise & industrial. Of these, the healthcare category contributed the largest revenue to the market in 2014. This can be mainly ascribed to the high adoption of wearable devices for healthcare applications, particularly among the users in the U.S., Germany, China, and Japan.
Wearable sensors for infants are widely used in these countries for identifying and reporting external threats, such as drowning and falling, and monitoring internal physiological parameters, such as heartbeat, blood pressure, and respiratory rate. Moreover, it is expected that the adoption of wearables would increase in healthcare applications, particularly for infants, which would further boost the demand for sensors over the forecast period.
Geographically, the North American region held the largest share in the wearable sensors market in 2014. This can be attributed to advancements in the sensor technology, complemented by the rise in demand for smartwatches and fitness bands, and growth in industries such as consumer electronics, automobiles, healthcare in the region. Besides, the market in the region is expected to register notable growth on account of large investments and business expansion activities by the players in the market.
Lack of privacy and growing security concerns are the factors hindering the growth of the wearable sensors market. Communication in wearable sensing technologies is mostly wireless in nature and can cause security threats if the devices get hacked. Smartwatches for healthcare applications feature the global positioning system (GPS) that stores real-time location details of patients or individuals. Since hacking can result in unauthorized access to critical patient information, the security threat associated with the technology limits the growth of the wearable sensors industry to some extent.
The key trend observed in the global wearable sensors market is the growing popularity of techno-fashion clothing, such as smart clothing, which incorporates sensors in clothing for measuring various health and fitness parameters. Such sensors are integrated in clothing and are capable of measuring the energy output of the user’s muscles, respiratory rate, and heart rate.
In recent years, the sensor technology has evolved into smart sensing systems from just being conventional sensor devices with the integration of information and communication technologies. Owing to the evolution of cloud-based services, there is a rise in data aggregation, visualization, sharing, storage, and processing capabilities. Nexus Group is implementing sensor technologies in healthcare to provide human body insights that were not possible earlier. Besides, advancements in the technology and introduction of new devices, such as gyroscopes and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), are expected to drive the wearable sensors market growth in the near future.
Some of the key players operating in the wearable sensors market are InvenSense Inc., NXP Semiconductors N.V., Panasonic Corporation, Robert Bosch GmbH, STMicroelectronics N.V., Texas Instruments Incorporated, Kionix Inc. (ROHM Co. Ltd.), Measurement Specialties Inc., Analog Devices Inc., ZOLL Medical Corporation (Asahi Kasei Corporation), Freescale Semiconductor Inc., and Infineon Technologies AG.
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