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Wearable devices rise in enterprise, industrial environments

Commercial and workplace applications for wearables are garnering strong interest among business decision-makers, according to Tractica research


Wearables in enterprise and industrial environments continue to see high levels of interest and market momentum, as companies across a wide variety of industry sectors conduct trials and plan deployments with a diverse set of devices across multiple use cases, according to a new report from Tractica.

In terms of unit volumes and revenue, enterprise and industrial wearables are still a very small portion of the overall market, although their share of the total market is expected to grow over time, the report says. Worldwide shipments for enterprise and industrial wearables will increase from 2.3 million in 2015 to 66.4 million units annually by 2021. During that period, the market intelligence firm forecasts that a cumulative total of 171.9 million wearables will be shipped for use in enterprise and industrial environments. These numbers represent a significant upgrade of Tractica’s previous forecasts, first published in 2015.

“In the past year, the enterprise and industrial wearables market has moved into an implementation phase, with the focus shifting from public announcements to the hard work that needs to be done behind the scenes to get wearables rolled out at commercial scale,” says research director Aditya Kaul.

Kaul adds that a wide range of innovative new use cases are emerging for workplace wearables, focused on application markets that include retail, manufacturing, healthcare, corporate wellness, warehousing and logistics, workplace authentication and security, and field services, to name just a few. Tractica forecasts that the primary device categories utilized will be smart watches, fitness trackers, body sensors, and smart glasses, but other niche categories will play a key role for specialized use cases, as well.