Wearable fitness tracker market expected to grow by 50% in five years

Samsung Gear Fit
By Joseph Keller on 16 May 2014 01:14 pm
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Sport and fitness trackers are expected to grow fairly steadily with the market for such devices worth $2.8 billion by 2019. The install base, which sat at 84 million in 2013, is projected to grow 50% to 120 million people in that time.

This year, IHS Technology is projecting that fitness trackers, such as the Jawbone UP or Fitbit devices, will be worth $2.2 billion, up 22% over last year's $1.9 billion. One factor that might throw these projections off is the potential growth of smartwatches.

As smartwatches like Samsung's Gear Fit and Gear 2 are build-in more fitness functionality like pedometers and heart-rate monitors, they have the potential to disrupt the growth of dedicated fitness monitors. However, IHS predicts that dedicated athletes will move towards GPS-based devices made by companies like Garmin thanks to the more comprehensive data they can provide.

Do you have a fitness monitor, and do you prefer a dedicated device, rather than a smartwatch with some fitness-tracking capabilities? Let us know below in the comments.

Source: ZDNet

Reader comments

Wearable fitness tracker market expected to grow by 50% in five years

16 Comments

I see the reverse. The accuracy and data points of these devices suit the average consumer who has a interest in their general activity and/or general fitness. It would not surprise me to see them issued by healthcare providers in future (as the price drops) to provide patients with some basic data on how they are doing and to give them an easy 'put on and forget' method of keeping track. The devices suit the average consumer because they are cheap, easy to use, provide motivation (be it competing against yourself or others) and simply do enough for their use.

IHS Technology is correct in saying that people who have a greater interest in fitness or are professional athletes will use other products that provide more data points, more valuable analysis and an ability to link to other equipment such as heart rate monitors and foot pods.

In my case I have an original Withings Pulse for daily tracking but I also have a Garmin Forerunner 910xt with a heart rate monitor and foot pod for training.

Those types of products just seem like a bit of overkill for average consumers. Just getting off the couch and taking a brisk walk for 30 minutes is enough. The average consumer does not need to be OCD about every minute detail.

Do not underestimate the power of a device reminding and shaming people into action. Some people just need that prompt of today I have only walked x.

I'm not sure how well that would work. Would it just become another annoyance that people tune out after awhile, like the weather alerts on the TV screen that most people ignore or the Amber Alerts on the phone that end up being completely disabled due to their annoyance?

+1

Some people are happy to weigh in at 300, 400 or 500 pounds.

Some people will respond well to a little electronic prompting.

I have the UP24. I like it as an introductory piece. Ive been running for a year. I imagine in another year I'll be looking at garmin's line of running watches.

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I do hope they get smarter and monitor body temperature, heart rate and movements at the same time in order to really start to become accurate in terms of calorie burning.

And by 2019, basic blood analysis (sugar, O2) should be possible :)

when i got my firbit in 2012 i had ONE person on my fitbit friends list. i now have 26 active people on my list plus about another 10-15 inactive users. yeah, it's definitely growing.

i'll gladly trade in my Fitbit Flex & Pebble for an Android Wear device but, at this point, Android doesn't have a social aspect to help maintain a higher level of activity.

My concern with the fitness tracker market is the same as the 3D TV market - do consumers want what manufacturers are telling them they want. This isn't to say the technology isn't impressive or helpful, but if consumers aren't ready for the technology, it's not going to take off no matter what the projections say. Until someone makes a truly useful and integrated fitness tracker, the market may expand, but it won't be sustainable.

I'd be more inclined to think these would get amalgamated into the typical smartwatch, rather than continuing to exist as a dedicated product. Of course, costs and such would need to come down in either case.

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I know someone in her mid 70's who is using a fitbit to help track her sleeping habits for health problems - health isn't entirely about exercise. The market will fill both the niches and the more general needs of most people.

Probably around that time, Apple will get into it... they need a more mature market to make a better product... I am really looking forward to that moment

I LOVE my fitbit. It has become part of my daily routine, reminding me to keep active, or on days when I'm being lazy, and maybe not even realizing, kick me into gear. It's also nice to track your sleep, and see exactly how much sleep I actually get. Do you need a fitness tracker to do that? No, but it does make it so much easier to have a device that tracks it every night, and lets you see the stats so easily.