Smart wearables market to quadruple thanks to cheap software

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The smart wearables market is set to quadruple during the next three years, thanks to new entrants to the market like Apple and technological barriers vanishing, new research has claimed. 

The report by Juniper Research found that by 2017, 116 million wearables will be shipped, up from 27 million this year. By 2019, the market will be worth $53 billion (€42 billion)

Researchers said a key development was how the bigger players were beginning to build operating systems and databanks in order to deal with the wealth of information coming from wearables. It cited Google’s Android Wear, Qualcomm’s 2net and Samsung’s Digital Health Initiative.

This move into software will help democratise the wearables market, the research firm claimed, as small companies will be able to produce devices without a need for developing software themselves.

However, one downside to this will be the sector narrowing its innovative scope, Juniper Research claimed, as smaller companies use the software of their larger cousins and manufacturers build software to be paired with smartphones to try and increase their own sales.

Juniper also predicted that dedicated fitness bands will begin to wane, as smartwatches increasingly include health sensors within the device. It said by 2017, the smartwatch market will overtake the fitness sector.

Apple finally entered the wearables space earlier this month, when it announced its long-awaited Apple Watch. The device, which goes on sale next year, includes fitness-tracking software and a new interface that the manufacturer said is designed to zoom in on content on a small display.

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