The smart wearable market in India is relatively nascent, but is growing rapidly. Studies show that wearables’ ownership among smartphone users has doubled in the past year. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, the worldwide wearable device market will reach a total of 111.1 million units shipped in 2016. By 2019, the total shipments will reach 214.6 million units, resulting in a five-year CAGR of 28 per cent.
The most common smart devices are smart watches, smart bands and fitness tracker. Wearable technology in the form of clothing and accessories is also starting to attract users. Therefore, manufacturers of smart devices are keen to leverage the technology as the demand for such devices has grown in an upward trend.
“Wearable devices have become immensely popular in the past one year, and more players are expected to make an entry into the market in both the basic and smart wearable categories. The expected launch of affordable smartwatches in the second half of 2016 could see a rapid growth in the share of smart devices,” says Swapnil Bhatnagar, Research Director, IDC India.
Here is a list of interesting smart and unique wearables that have created buzz globally and is beginning to gain traction among the Indian business executives. In the coming months, these devices are expected to rule the workplace, believe experts.
1. Smart Watches
India is becoming an important market for smartwatches. While it is currently at a nascent stage, companies are geared up to build a vibrant ecosystem in the country. Experts believe India’s smartwatch market can be compared with smartphone revolution 4-5 years ago, but the boom is evident starting this year, with Apple Watch, Titan JUXT and Samsung gearing up to grab a share of the pie. Tag Heuer Connected, Sony SmartWatch 3, Asus ZenWatch 2, Moto 360 are also redefining the way watches can be worn at the workplace.
These watches can run apps and play back all sorts of digital media. Many of these watches have touchscreen facilities which enables users to access functions like calculator, thermometer etc. As Ramon Llamas, Research Manager for IDC’s Wearables team noted, “In a short amount of time, smartwatches have evolved from being extensions of the smartphone to wearable computers capable of communications, notifications, applications, and numerous other functionalities.”
2. Fitness Band
Fitness bands have gained popularity as it keeps the track of the wearer’s activity throughout the day. The aim of the band is to keep you fit without you ever setting foot in a gym, something that interest business executives who are sedentary workers – always on the move for official purposes. It keeps track of every activity such as floors climbed, calories burned, distance travelled etc. Some of the fitness trackers also show the smart phone notifications and monitors heart rate. Some of the famous fitness bands are Fitbit, Xiaomi Mi Band, Jawbone fitness band etc.
Read more: Fitness Bands Drive The Wearable Market in India
According to IDC Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, the India market was largely driven by fitness bands with 87.7 per cent market share. According to Raj Nimesh, Senior Market Analyst, Client Devices, IDC, “The wearable market is rapidly gaining traction as it provides an easy health tracking mechanism to the users. In terms of units, Xiaomi and GOQii together contributed over 45 percent share, however Fitbit had maximum market value share.”
3. Smart Clothing
Smart clothing and its concepts have been around for a few years, but not much of it has come out of it until now. Companies like Google, Samsung, OM Signal, Under Armour and Hexo Skin have begun thinking of making your clothes as smart as your smart phones A new report from Tractica, which predicts consumers will be buying more than 10 million pieces of smart clothing yearly by 2020.
At present some of these clothes have an athletic appeal. Sports enthusiasts are using sensor-infused shirts, shorts, sports bras, and socks that provide biometric data on muscle activity, breathing rate, and heart activity zones.
Over the next 5 years, smart clothing will begin to look less like athletic pieces and more like casual and corporate wear. “The ultimate wearable computer is a piece of smart clothing that one can wear as a garment or a body sensor that can track and measure specific vital signs,” said Aditya Kaul, Research Director, Tractica stating that, “Both of these device categories are designed to seamlessly integrate with users’ daily lives.”
“Because smartshirts and other smartgarments can hold more sensors closer to the skin, they can collect more information and produce better data, like the full wave of the heart beat rather than just the pulse,” Gartner research director Angela McIntyre said in a blog.
4. VR Headsets
The era of visual reality is here. India’s virtual reality headset market shipment value has reached over $3.4 million in the January-March quarter of this fiscal, according to a latest research by 6Wresearch. Although VR headset is a new concept, it is quickly becoming very popular. The most popular VR Headsets are Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, HTC VIVE, PlayStation VR, OnePlus Loop VR, LG 360 VR and Samsung VR headset.
VR headsets help executives to share videos, pictures and other visual reality content. VR headsets is proving to be game changers in several industry verticals like Real estate, Healthcare, Education etc. helping in conducting meetings, making presentation and demos and in for some organizing live performance, exhibition.
5. Smart Jewellery
Smart jewellery has not received its due, especially with Indian women. Some of the big companies such as Swarovski and Fossil and startups like Ringly and Vinaya have realized the potential of smart jewellery in the market and are offering some beautiful designer jewellery. This jewellery does more than just look good. This jewellery has fitness tracking and notifications and in the near future generation of earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings are said to be connected. The jewellery notifies the person about the texts, calls and incoming email.
6. Smart Earplugs
Smart earplugs are still very new to most Indian executives. They are easy to use and very comfortable to wear. In a global business setup, executives often feel the need to have a translator, whether it is a face-to-face conversation or a telephonic interaction. According to many, communicating with a foreign colleague or client in real time can be a pain. Wavery Labs, a New York-based company has launched the wireless earphones, that let two people who speak different languages communicate smoothly with each other. The company will soon launch in India, translates only three languages – English, French and Spanish and will include some more languages used in global businesses by the end of this year.
Credits CXO Today