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June 8, 2017

Healthcare biggest vertical in wearable volume in 2022

In a recent B2B technology survey of 455 U.S.-based companies in nine vertical markets, ABI Research finds that 55% of respondents see greater use of wearable devices as part of their companies’ technology innovation strategies. Healthcare will become the biggest vertical worldwide in volume of device shipped.

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Smart glasses are the most popular wearable device among respondents from the manufacturing industry vertical, with 42% stating that the devices are currently in use and a further 54% planning, assessing, or in early investigation. Overall, the healthcare sector will see more wearable devices in use by 2022, but only a small number of these are smart glasses.

“Wearable devices are clearly becoming more popular in many organizations, with the manufacturing industry being one of the more aggressive verticals,” says Stephanie Lawrence, Research Analyst at ABI Research. “We expect the manufacturing industry to see high wearable device shipment numbers over the next five years, reaching 32 million shipments in 2022.”

The manufacturing industry shows great interest in wearable devices, as they provide workers with instant access to task information effectively improving employees’ workflows. Smart glasses are the device of choice, with their ability to provide workers hands-free access to information directly in their line of sight. Smart glasses also provide workers with a communication interface, and allow remote experts to see exactly what the wearer is seeing and provide instructions.

Healthcare biggest in wearable devices

“ABI Research’s recent forecasts reflect its survey results, with manufacturing accounting for the second highest shipment numbers of wearable devices in 2022, and the highest number of smart glass shipments,” concludes Lawrence. “The healthcare industry will see the most wearable shipments within the forecast period, reaching 48 million shipments in 2022; however, it will occupy a much smaller portion of the smart glass market, nearing only three million total in 2022.”

US$ 55 billion revenue in 2022

ABI Research recently forecasted enterprise wearable device revenue, such as smartwatches, smart glasses, and wearable scanners, will top US$55 billion in 2022, increasing from US$10.5 billion in 2017. Driving this CAGR, which surpasses 39%, are the needs to improve productivity, reduce errors, and save time training both new and seasoned workers. The implementation of strong supporting platforms is now essential to ensure proper employee access, storage, and security of all wearable device data.

“Wearables have much less in-built security and authentication protocols than other devices and so require robust security platforms to ensure data safety,” says Stephanie Lawrence, Research Analyst at ABI Research. “Supporting platforms allow managers and IT teams to determine what information the wearables have access to, monitor their usage, create customized applications, and remotely control the devices. This ultimately safeguards the data from being compromised.”

Companies such as Augmate, PTC, Salesforce, Total Communicator Solutions, and Upskill provide such platforms to interested enterprises. Often these platforms are available as SaaS (Software as a Service) or PaaS (Platform as a Service) and can come with a one-time set up fee with a monthly or yearly fee based on number of devices, users, and/or applications.

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