Beauty & Brains in Branding & Web

Is 2016 the Year of the Wearable?

Wearble technology like the Fitbit are gaining popularity in 2016“The year of the wearable” is a term we’ve been hearing pretty much each year since 2013. The hype in previous years has revolved mostly around smartwatches, health bands, and Google Glass. Recently, public interest has shifted towards the fast advances taking place in the commercial VR marketplace with products like Facebook’s Oculus Rift and HTC’s Vive. So is 2016 finally the year of the wearable? Let’s take a look at three interesting trends in wearables this year that might help give us an indication:

Finding a Place in Fitness

Fitness and health monitoring is one of the places where wearables seem to be really taking hold. Despite the highly anticipated release of the Apple Watch, the persistent popularity of simpler health monitoring devices like the Fitbit indicate where consumers feel wearables provide the most value and usability. Three out of four wearable devices worn by U.S. consumers are fitness bands, over half of which are made by Fitbit.

Enriching Educational Markets

Affordable VR experiences like Google’s Cardboard project will fuel the expected 46% growth in educational wearables over the next 5 years. Smart technology and the Internet of things has already proved revolutionary in the educational sector. Devices such as tablets and smart blackboards enrich the educational experience for teachers and students. Now wearables and VR are permitting students to experience amazing new interactive environments and explore the world from inside the classroom.

Smart Sports Statistics

Fantasy sports enthusiasts love statistics and look for all the data they can get on their favourite teams and players. This interest is being rewarded through partnerships like the one the NFL struck with Zebra in 2014, making the data-solutions company ‘The Official On-Field Player Tracking Provider’ of the NFL.  For two seasons, Zebra has been using RFID chips in players pads and on referees to provide unprecedented levels of data. The NFL provides these statistics directly to broadcasters, which is great for live coverage and stat-hungry fans. We can expect to see wearable data solutions continue to impact the world of professional sports in 2016.

So is 2016 the year of the wearable? I’d say yes, but I’m sure I’ll be saying the same thing next year as wearable technology continues to find novel ways to integrate and adoption becomes more mainstream.

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About Lucas

Lucas is a native of Montreal and completed degrees in Film and Professional Writing at Concordia University. As our web and multimedia producer, he assists clients looking to develop new web initiatives and supports the success of our websites through the implementation of multimedia projects. Alongside his interest in creative work, Lucas also has a passion for technology, comics, and all things geek. He can be contacted at lucas[at]htc.ca