Electronic Products & Technology

Search for ‘killer’ use case for smartwatches goes on

Revenues to hit $64B by 2030, but ultimate function still to be discovered, says GlobalData

July 3, 2020  EP&T Magazine

Smartwatches will become a $64bn industry by 2030, having grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13% between 2019 and 2030, according to the latest report from research group GlobalData. This growth is mostly attributable to the addition of features such as cellular connectivity, health and fitness monitoring, and interoperability with other connected devices.

Smartwatch and activity trackers. Source: Getty Images.

The report notes that, while these features presently add to user convenience and generate demand, smartwatches will require a killer use case if they are to become indispensable to consumers.

Smartwatches focus on health and fitness

Rupantar Guha, senior analyst of thematic research at GlobalData, commented: “A major focus for smartwatches is health and fitness, with capabilities such as electrocardiograms (ECGs), blood glucose monitoring, and stress monitoring becoming standard. Most vendors are targeting these products at the healthcare sector and the consumer market, but the development of accurate clinical-grade vitals monitoring is proving challenging.”

According to GlobalData estimates, the number of smartwatch shipments in 2020 will be 9% lower than in 2019, due to delays in production caused by COVID-19. Smartwatch revenues will also decline by 10% in 2020, as the global recession resulting from the pandemic hits consumer spending.

“Smartwatches could have a role to play in tackling COVID-19,” Guha continued. “Some vendors are adding apps that remind people to wash their hands frequently, while others are supporting research tracking the spread of the disease. Although smartwatches lack the capabilities to identify COVID-19 infection, they could be used as tools to monitor the health status of symptomatic patients.”


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