Specialized wearables such as smart athletic wear, connected sneakers and hearing-based wearables are expected to surge over the next four years, outpacing the growth of conventional fitness trackers.
Jen Booton | Sports Techie
Connected clothes and ear-based wearables, coined “hearables,” are forecast to climb 550 percent over the next four years, from 4.5 million in 2018 to nearly 30 million in 2022, according to a new report from consumer technology industry tracker Juniper Research.
While conventional trackers still comprise a vast majority of overall fitness-related sales, specialized fitness wearables are projected to grow 25 times faster. Through 2022, traditional trackers such as fitness bands and smartwatches are projected to increase just 20 percent.
As growth of basic trackers has continued to slow, session-specific wearables, such as specialized devices that are used specifically to monitor gym or training sessions, has multiplied, according to Juniper.
Those include devices from companies like Under Armour, which recently announced a running sneaker that automatically tracks pace and cadence; Sensoria, which makes a line of smart garments; as well as exercise-specific devices from Gymwatch, Atlas and Jabra that provide more granular workout metrics without the additional messaging and call-handling functions of general wearables.
As those devices with more detailed health and fitness metrics become more widespread, Juniper researchers believe that lifestyle trackers, such as Fitbit bands and devices manufactured by Xiaomi partner Huami in China, will see a decline in market share.