The SmartWatch Race Heats Up in 2014

by Harry Wang | Feb. 24, 2014

I left the 2014 Consumer Electronic Show with a WOW for all the wearable gadgets. There may be 200 credible watch brands in the world but the smartwatch sector will easily top that number. The digital watch market is opened up for the tech industry—the intense interest comes from not only large consumer electronic brands such as Samsung, Apple, LG, and Sony, but also brands in the fashion and fitness businesses.

Since January, there has been non-stop news of smartwatch development. The rumors around Apple’s so called “iWatch” have gained steam over the past three weeks, with details leaked from supply chain sources and patent office fillings. Although some info is contradicting, the sheer volume of details lends some creditability—although it is tough to parse out what is truth vs. noise. The MobiHealth News had a pretty good dig on the health and fitness aspects of Apple’s iWatch. I also believe Apple’s iWatch will play up the fitness card, although I am not sure about the health monitoring feature—detecting heart disease by listening to the sound of blood flow in the vessel sounds like a nice patent but the FDA will scrutinize every aspect of it so that it is unlikely to be a 2014 feature.

In this backdrop, it is not surprising that the wearable frenzy extends to another mega trade show—the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Samsung already kicked off its show with two new smartwatches. The Galaxy Gear 2 and Neo are nice upgrades to its first generation, and they have enhanced fitness functions that will appeal to fitness buffs as well as tech junkies. The surprising part is the Tizen OS that Samsung chooses to use. It remains to be seen whether there will be enough developers willing to adapt their fitness applications to this new OS platform. Maybe Samsung can offer some shortcut tools to persuade reluctant developers.

At Parks Associates, wearable is a topic of intense interest. Not only because of our connected health research but also wearable’s impact on smartphone’s use cases and potential influence on smart home applications and user experiences. We kicked off 2014’s connected health research with a custom white paper for the Consumer Electronic Association (CEA), and during our Connections conference in May, we will also invite people from the wearable and smart home industry to examine use cases and business models that will have a deep impact on consumers’ life. Please check out Connections Website for details.



Next: Consumer Trends in Virtual Healthcare: New Research Report
Previous: How Remote Care is Changing Healthcare: Complimentary Webcast

Comments

    Be the first to leave a comment.

Post a Comment

Have a comment? Login or create an account to start a discussion.


Quote-PA_website_Tom_2.png

Quote-PA_website_Tom_2.png

Quote-PA_website_Elizabeth.png

Quote-PA_website_Elizabeth.png

Quote-PA_website_Brad.png

Quote-PA_website_Brad.png

Quote-PA_website_Tom_1.png

Quote-PA_website_Tom_1.png

Quote-PA_website_Dina.png

Quote-PA_website_Dina.png