What does it take to make a wearable technology?
The year to 2015 will be the first time that companies have achieved over a billion dollars in revenue from individual wearable technology product lines. The huge efforts, both from investment cash, R&D time and product development have begun to pay off, and wearable technology products are going beyond the early adopters for the first time.
The technology itself has been the lifeblood of the industry. Whilst many factors had to come together at once for this movement to occur, perhaps the most critical was the introduction of Bluetooth 4.0, enabling low energy wireless communication between devices. The commercial growth of wearable technology has been more than matched by huge research efforts from industry and academia alike. At the component level, made-for-wearable components are reaching maturity and beginning to enter products. For examples, see the IDTechEx report: Wearable Sensors 2015-2025.
IDTechEx will hold their annual USA event in the Santa Clara Convention Center on November 18-19. Looking forward to the event, Pierre-Alexandre Fournier, CEO of Hexoskin said, "IDTechEx is the place to go to see the technology we will have in our products in the next five years". The event focuses not only on the technology innovation, but on the clear commercialization process by which the most exciting and useful technologies will reach the products of the future.
"What's unique about this gathering is the focus on what is really needed with new wearable technologies and the opportunity to exchange insights with all companies in the sector," said Alberto Torres, CEO of smart eyewear company, Atheer Labs. The conference session brings together innovators and innovators, investors and analysts from key verticals to focus on the commercialization challenges and strategies for wearables today.
Whilst the IDTechEx exhibition shows the technology of the future, commercial success in wearables requires more that hardware innovation. The majority of key applications in wearable technology today are enabled by technologies developed over recent decades. Activity tracking is based on MEMS IMUs, first commercialized in the 1990s for car air bags, and optimized for motion sensing in mobile phones. Heart rate sensing in smartwatches based on optical techniques that have been prominent as PPG in the medical spaces for decades.
As such, it is important to remember that there is more to wearable than just technology. Mounir Zok is a Senior Sports Technologist at the United States Olympic Committee, and will deliver a keynote at the event.
"This event is bringing together experts on wearable technology working in various sectors. I am looking forward to meet new friends, connect with old friends, and learn from the experts.
I see the most exciting applications coming from various environments who have managed to coherently mix together smart sensors, the Internet of Things, and machine learning algorithms using a Human Centred Design approach. The technology is growing at exponential rates today and this is coming at the cost of a human-centric approach. Most companies are focusing more on the technological aspects of development, such as battery life and form factors, in place of the underlying human behaviours that they're attempting to influence. Unless we are able to do this, we will continue to see a drop in market adoption."
To hear from Mounir, and the rest of IDTechEx's world class speaker program, join the 3000+ attendees at the IDTechEx Show! on November 18-19 in the Santa Clara Convention Center in the heart of Silicon Valley. Be sure to make the most of the 15% attendee discount in place for orders before October 30!