NextMarket Insights recently released a report stating that the smartwatch market will jump from 15 million watches shipped in 2014 to more than 373 million by 2020. The industry growth will see this boost mainly due to the increased adoption of smartwatch software and wireless technologies by traditional watchmakers. Advancements in both screen and mobile technology and the growing trend of smartwatches for children will also add to the growth.
NextMarket Insights’ report indicates that the watch industry ships over one billion watches a year, and that there are nearly seven billion mobile subscribers worldwide today.
The report shows that the growing smartwatch market is expected to generate a fast maturing market ecosystem, across the hardware, services and software layers. Today's smartwatch manufacturers utilize existing smartphone OS's such as Android (News - Alert) and new software frameworks on top of lightweight operating systems.
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Smartwatches are computerized wristwatches with functionality that is enhanced beyond timekeeping. Early models performed basic tasks, such as calculations, translations, and game-playing, but modern smartwatches are like wearable computers. Many smartwatches run mobile apps, while a smaller number of models run a mobile operating system and function as portable media players, offering playback of FM radio, audio, and video files to the user via a Bluetooth headset. There are some smartwatch models that feature full mobile phone capability. They can both make and answer calls.
Smartwatches can include features such as a camera, accelerometer, thermometer, altimeter, barometer, compass, chronograph, calculator, cell phone, touchscreen, GPS navigation, map display, graphical display, speaker scheduler and more. Many models communicate with a wireless headset, heads-up display, insulin pump, microphone, modem, or other devices.
Most of the growth of smartwatches will be driven by Asia. It is expected that new segments of the watch market like fitness/active lifestyle and youth will fuel the industries growth.
Edited by Alisen Downey