Body worn wearables to exceed 116 million shipments in 2021
The enterprise wearable market is experiencing a shift from wrist worn devices, to body and head worn wearables. ABI Research has forecast that the enterprise wearable shipments will grow from 30 million shipments in 2016 to nearly 147 million in 2021 with wrist worn wearable shipments projected to triple by 2021 to reach 30 million. Body-worn devices will surge from 20 million to more than 116 million over the same period.
“The body-worn segment includes smart glasses, virtual reality (VR) headsets, hearables, wearable cameras, smart clothing, and m-health devices,” said Stephanie Lawrence, research analyst at ABI Research. “Wrist-worn wearables have been great at collecting data, but their enterprise appeal remains limited relative to the broader opportunity provided by body-worn wearables.”
The most common form of wrist-worn enterprise devices is wearable scanners, which are projected to comprise 73% of devices shipped in this segment by 2021. The body-worn enterprise wearable market, however, will become much more diverse as awareness surrounding the benefits of devices like head-mounted displays continues to increase. These devices in particular allow workers to stay connected and access systems’ information in a hands-free manner.
“Wrist-worn devices will not go away, by any means, but body-worn devices will continue to overshadow their growth,” concluded Lawrence. “Central to enterprise wearables’ move up the adoption curve is the general migration from mobile to more desk-less and dynamic work environments, where companies like Google, Microsoft, ODG, and Vuzix, are heavily invested.”