In the wake of the smartphone and tablet boom, many experts predicted wearable devices to be the next big thing in consumer technology. And to a certain degree they were right: global smartwatch shipments more than doubled since 2015 and fitness tracking armbands are as popular as they are affordable.
While the wearables boom has so far largely been limited to wrist-worn devices, with smartwatches, sports watches and wristbands accounting for 60 percent of consumer spending last year, other categories such as ear-worn devices (e.g. Apple’s popular AirPods) are expected to gain popularity going forward.
According to a recent forecast from Gartner, global end-user spending on wearable devices is expected to nearly double between 2018 and 2021. While the smartwatch segment will remain by far the largest in terms of consumer spending, head-mounted displays are expected to make the biggest leap within the forecast period.