Did you hear?…Boom predicted in fitness wearable wireless devices

A research group predicts during the next five years consumers will flock to wearable wireless devices that track their fitness, sports and wellness activities.

During the next five years, consumers will flock to wearable wireless devices that track their fitness, sports and wellness activities, according to recent report released by ABI Research.

The market for the devices will grow to nearly 80 million by 2016, outpacing the growth of wearable wireless sensors to deliver remote healthcare, the report predicted.

Changing social patterns and increased participation in activities, along with new devices and standardization of wireless protocols will lead to the rise in wearable wireless sensors with which consumers will “increasingly monitor and often share their performance results.”

ABI said a combination of M2M and short-range wireless connectivity will be embedded in a range of devices that will connect to Internet-based cloud applications.

For fitness-, sports- and wellness-monitoring companies, the technology drive will “enable established and new players in the market to tie wearable devices sales to online applications and the recurring revenues of value-added subscription services,” said Jonathan Collins, an ABI Research principal analyst.

“Enabling online fitness data collection and sharing will drive key new revenue streams,” he said. “Online applications also bring the promise of a social networking effect, with participants sharing their results with friends or new groups formed within the application, thus spurring further adoption.”

The findings echo the technology trend SNEWS reported on in May 2011, identifying an increasing amount of fitness manufacturers promoting mobile phone, wireless and online applications with exercise equipment to increasingly network users to their performance data, and then share it with others. It’s the 21st-century take on fitness as a group activity. Already, innovation is being shown in the industry, for example at the Wearable Technology showcase at the ispo show in Germany, as SNEWS reported in February 2010.

The latest full report by ABI is available for purchase on it website by clicking here.

— David Clucas