The Week in Wearables March 20

Consumer Wearables

IDC released projections for wearables market growth through 2021. IDC is still expecting the wrist to dominate wearables for the next 5 years with watches and wristbands taking 88.2% market share by 2021. As many expect, IDC expects the market to “hyper-segment into specific niches”. In my view, they are underestimating the hyper-segmentation across all form factors, particularly hearables and clothing. Here.

Google Glass didn’t work (initially) as a consumer device but it’s gaining traction in industrial/manufacturing use cases. Here.

Everyone knows Apple is working on AR, but Bloomberg got some more details this week. They’ve pulled together a team with experience from Dolby Labs, Hololens, Oculus, and Hollywood digital effects experts. Here.

One VC speculates that Apple’s AirPods will sell more units than the Apple Watch next year. Here.

Hearables crowdfunding crossed $50M in aggregate in February. Here.

Lots of news from Baselworld 2017:

  • Tag Heuer, Movado, Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Guess, Michael Kors, Emperio Armani, Diesel, Tory Burch, DKNY, Mark Jacobs Riley, and many others launched smart watches or hybrid watches at Baselworld. Here’s a good summary of the Top 25 smartwatches and hybrid watches (traditional analog movement watches with “smart” capabilities). Here.
  • Fossil will bring 300 wearables to market. Here.
  • Samsung floats an odd concept for a smart pocket watch. Here.

Medical Wearables

Mayo Clinic announces more investment in digital health tools targeted at cardiac issues and arrhythmia. Here.

Sanofi launches “social experiment” to use wearables to track sleep and activity in conjunction with use of one of their allergy medications. It’s not a scientific study, but a good use case for wearables. Here.

A 65-person study published in JAMA Surgery indicates post-surgery usage of a mobile app reduces the need for in-person follow-up visits. Here.


IDC wearables market forecast by segment

The Week in Wearables March 13

Consumer Wearables

Retrospective on Samsung’s attempt to preempt the Apple Watch with an advanced health wearable. It also highlights the difficulty of building an accurate consumer health wearable, particularly at the wrist. Here.

More on Samsung wearables plans from Samsung’s European head of product, including smartwatches, hearables, VR, and more. Here.

Interesting discussion of Fitbit’s earnings, particularly an analysis of their ongoing customer engagement. This is the first public analysis I’ve seen that quantifies the problem. Here.

Baselworld 2017 kicks off this week, which is why you saw several smartwatch announcements from traditional luxury watchmakers, including:

  • Tag Heuer announcing their second-generation smartwatch, the Tag Heuer Modular Connected 45. Internals are powered by Android Wear 2.0 and Intel. They claim every visible part of the watch can be replaced and/or customized. Here.
  • Montblanc gets into the smartwatch market with the Montblanc Summit. The only thing different here appears to be that this is the first luxury smartwatch to add a heart rate monitor, although it’s not clear why. Here.
  • Movado will launch 5 smartwatches powered by Android Wear 2.0 this fall under the Movado, Tommy Hilfiger, and Hugo Boss brands. Here.
  • Swatch is also getting into smartwatches, first with their Tissot brand, but have decided to build their own operating system targeted toward lower power, higher security than what’s available on the market today. It’s highly unlikely they’ll build a meaningful app ecosystem around their OS, but that may not matter for . Here.
  • However, you won’t see the Swarovski smartwatch at Baselworld 2017 as expected. Here.

Medical Wearables

Alivecor takes in another $30M from Omron and Mayo Clinic and launches stroke prevention platform utilizing data and learning from a 4,500 patient study on strokes. Here.

Apple’s healthcare market strategy to “look at themselves as a platform” appears to be making gains. Here.

Speaking of Apple in healthcare, here are results from a large-scale study conducted completely through mobile phones via Apple’s ResearchKit. This research sets the foundation for “longitudinal, multidimensional data (e.g., surveys, devices, geolocation, and air quality)” going forward. Here.

Roughly 80 percent of all interactions between a doctor and a patient end with at least one prescription, amounting to more than 4 billion prescriptions a year in the United States. Here.

Good summary of the health tech discussions at SXSW 2017. Here.

Reminder that health wearables design and user experience must be paired with solid behavioral psychology techniques to impact long term behavior change. Here.


The global market for remote patient monitoring devices expected to grow to nearly $2B per year by 2025 (CAGR 13.4%), from Grand View Research. Here.

More data on remote patient monitoring devices, this one from ABI Research, projecting 33M devices sold in 2021 (35% CAGR). Here.