Smart clothing seems to be just around the corner, with several companies already selling specialty items (athletic wear, baby clothes, etc) embedded with sensors. However, quantitative forecasts describing the prevalence of smart clothing in the next 10 years or so are hard to find. Gartner made a forecast to 2016 back in 2014. Tractica has a forecast to 2020. Both forecasts describe millions of units shipped worldwide. Although it’s difficult to extrapolate market penetration, both reports suggest that smart clothing will be more prevalent than wearable devices. Other research firms and analysts are skeptical of such a swift uptake by smart garments, instead forecasting dominance by other wearable devices.
Tractica forecasts that smart clothing shipments will grow from 140,000 units in 2013 to 10.2 million units by 2020, while body sensor shipments will decrease from 3.0 million units in 2013 to 1.2 million by 2017, before rising again to 3.1 million units in 2020.
Tractica. May 4, 2015. “The Wearable Devices Market is Poised for Expansion into Smart Clothing and Body Sensors.”
Chart from above report:
[via Global Information]
|Worldwide Wearable Electronic Fitness Devices Shipments (millions of units)|
|Other Fitness Monitor||18||20||12||15|
Gartner. November 18, 2014. “Gartner Says in 2015, 50 Percent of People Considering Buying a Smart Wristband Will Choose a Smartwatch Instead.”
Note: Angela McIntyre, Gartner research director – gave an interview to The Guardian. Might be available for comment.
Growth will be “largely driven by the sales of wrist-based trackers, while hundreds of thousands of connected garments used by professional sports teams showcase wearable technology’s most advanced capabilities.” Hundreds of thousands of thousands of connected garments is hardly a drop in the ocean compared to the millions of Fitbits, Xiaomis, Apple Watches, Jawbones and other devices which will be coining in the revenue by 2020. [emphasis mine]
James Stables. November 18, 2015. “Juniper Report Skeptical on Smart Clothing but Says Fitness Trackers are Set to Soar.” Wearable.com.
In our latest smart glasses report, we expect over 3 million smart glasses to be in use in enterprise by 2018, with nearly 6 million users. [worldwide, I think]
Juniper Research. 2015. “The World In 2020 – A Technology Vision.”
Note: The White paper seems to be referring to this paid research report.
The US market for wearables is forecast to evolve more quickly than worldwide, leading to a peak of 68.3 million units in 2019, then dropping to 62.9 million in 2020.
Smart watches will be the top category as of this year in the US, followed by smart bands/bracelets.
In 2020, headworn wearables are expected to become the number two segment.
Bob O’Donnell. May 2015. “The Slow Build: Smart Wearables Forecast, 2014-2020.” Technalysis Research.
Note: This report does not include clothing with embedded sensors. Bob O’Donnell is skeptical of the ability of smart clothing to surpass other wearables in the foreseeable future.
NYT’s Bits blog covered the recently released annual prediction reports from IDC, Gartner, and Forrester. IDC and Gartner’s reports include several 35 year predictions. Forrester’s report focuses on 2016, but reinforces the predictions of the other firms.
Although we’re generally after forecasts that address the everyday life of the average American, the forecasts in this set have broad economic and employment implications that certainly will affect a large number of people, and certainly the technology tools we use every day.
IDC’s report features several predictions for the 20182020 period, meant to provide guidance for business and industry strategists in the coming year. Here are a few excerpts via Bits as well as the original report:
•By 2018, corporations pursuing digital transformation strategies would “more than double the size of their software development teams.”
•By 2018, the number of Internet of Things devices will more than double, prompting the development of 200,000 new apps. By 2020, devices will triple and apps will exceed 250,000.
•By 2018, 65% of all IT assets used by companies will be housed offsite in collocation, hosting, and cloud data centers and one third of IT “staff” will actually be employees of organizations’ third party managed service providers.
•By 2020, more than 30 percent of today’s tech suppliers will “not exist as we know them today,” having been acquired or failed.
•By 2020, spending on cloud services and related hardware and software will be more than $500 billion, three times the current level.
•By 2020, providers of underlying cloud infrastructure will significantly consolidate,” with “six or fewer cloud platform vendors” holding 80 percent or so of the market. Probably Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Salesforce, IBM, Alibaba and Tencent.
•By 2020, over 70% of 3rd Platform IT spending will be driven by doing entirely new things, rather than on using new technologies to do traditional things in a new way.
•By 2020, 50% or more of e-commerce transactions will be enabled or influenced by Facebook and other regional social network leaders (e.g., Tencent’s Weibo in China).
•By 2020, one of the more frenetic IoT segments, wearables, will consolidate, as over half of today’s players will exit the market.
Gartner issued a similar set of predictions to 20182020, including the following:
•By 2018, 20 percent of business content will be authored by machines (eg: shareholder reports, legal documents, market reports, press releases, articles and white papers).
•By 2018, six billion connected things will be requesting support.
•By 2018, more than 3 million workers globally will be supervised by a “robo-boss.”
•By year-end 2018, 20 percent of smart buildings will have suffered from digital vandalism.
•By 2018, 45 percent of the fastest growing companies will have fewer employees than instances of smart machines (eg: fully automated supermarket, drone-only surveillance services).
•By year-end 2018, customer digital assistant will recognize individuals by face and voice across channels and partners.
•By 2018, two million employees will be required to wear health and fitness tracking devices as a condition of employment (eg: emergency responders, pro athletes, political leaders, airline pilots, industrial workers, remote field workers).
•By 2020, autonomous software agents outside of human control will participate in five percent of all economic transactions (eg: banking, insurance, markets, exchanges, crowdfunding).
•By 2020, smart agents (virtual personal assistants) will facilitate 40 percent of mobile interactions, and the post-app era will begin to dominate.
•Through 2020, 95 percent of cloud security failures will be the customer’s fault.
Forrester’s report only looks out as far as 2016, and doesn’t offer as many numeric predictions, but the concepts are similar. Excerpts:
•Leaders will understand and anticipate individual needs to deliver personalized experiences, sharply increasing their lead in the market.
•We will see extraordinary leadership disruption as companies adapt to a customer-led market.
•Leaders will invest in culture to accelerate both the pace of change and their speed of business.
•Cutting-edge algorithms will give leaders a leg up over competitors drowning in data and using run-of-the-mill analytical tools.
•Privacy will move from a niche consideration to a value to which customers will respond.
Steve Lohr. November 4, 2015. “Digital Transformation Going Mainstream in 2016, IDC Predicts”. Bits. New York Times.
Frank Gens. November 2015. “IDC FutureScape: Worldwide IT Industry 2016 Predictions — Leading Digital Transformation to Scale.” IDC #259850.
October 6. “Gartner Reveals Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users for 2016 and Beyond.” Gartner.
October 2015. “The 2016 Top 10 Critical Success Factors To Determine Who Wins And Who Fails In The Age Of The Customer.” Forrester.