Tracking health data and visualizing them in real time and listening to your favorite music in private are just a few of the many activities that can be performed on wearables. Wearables, as the name suggests, are gadgets that can be worn on the body. These devices usually have smart sensors and are connected to the internet to transmit, log, or analyze data. Pulsar’s calculator wristwatch can be considered the first consumer wearable device to have achieved global success. Some humble beginnings were the first Bluetooth headset in 2000, and the first GoPro, launched in 2004. Google Glass, released in 2013, was the first voice-operated, optical, head-mounted display product to combine hands-free internet access with augmented reality and the ability to capture images. The wearable market is promising, with shipments reaching over 490 million ín 2022, boosted by the development of 5G technology. More growth is expected in the future, with the wearables market still far from reaching its saturation point.
Smartwatches abd earwear drive the wearable market
Businesses, military forces, and medical professionals have been using wearable technology for decades. Still, the private consumer market has only recently started to feature items such as smart glasses, smartwatches, hearables, fitness and health trackers, smart jewelry, and smart clothing. The most successful wearable devices on the market right now are smartwatches and health and fitness trackers, with the relative newcomer hearables taking over as the most dominant category. In fact, over 340 million earwear units were forecast to be shipped in 2023, while the number of smartwatch unit shipments is expected to reach just under 160 million in the same year.
Apple Watch and AirPods are most popular among consumers
The leading wearables vendors are Apple, Xiaomi, Huawei, and Samsung, with Apple holding the largest share of the market. Apple’s strong position in the wearables market has mainly been established by the Apple watch, creating dominance in the overall wearables industry. Indeed, Apple's wearable device shipments amounted to about 146 million units in 2022. With a strong presence in the health and fitness wearables market, Fitbit had been a leader in the wearable industry until 2017. From this point, it began to be overtaken, first by Apple, then by the Chinese company Xiaomi, whose Mi Band fitness tracker has achieved great success.
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Research expert covering the global consumer technology industry