About Futuresource Consulting

Futuresource Consulting, the specialist research and consulting company, is delighted to be the official knowledge partner for CEATEC. The company can trace its roots back to the 1980s and provides market insights into consumer electronics, digital imaging, entertainment media, broadcast, optical manufacturing, storage media, professional IT and education technology.
With more than 70 full-time employees providing in-depth analysis and forecasts across consumer and professional electronics categories, Futuresource is able to advise on market, competitive and technological developments, providing clients with access to the information that helps produce the best possible results.


Wearable electronics market on track to exceed $8 billion in 2013.

The consumer wearable electronics segment - comprising wireless and smartwatches, activity trackers, wearable GPS, heart rate monitors and smartglasses - is experiencing a period of rapid growth with a forecast value of over $8 billion in 2013, according to the latest research from Futuresource Consulting.

"Many wearable devices are currently companion devices to other smart devices, in particular smartphones," says Oliver Rowntree, Research Analyst at Futuresource Consulting. "It's likely this will largely remain the case over the forecast period.

""Fitness devices are by far the most mature market, making up 97% of the projected value in 2013, though this will fall dramatically as smartwatch and smartglasses categories develop and products ship with embedded sensors that track and analyse movements and activity, cannibalising some the functionality of dedicated fitness products.

"The connected watch category will be the most significant growth area within wearable technology over the forecast period and Futuresource projects a combined wireless watch and smartwatch market of around 0.9 million units in 2013, with more than 60% of this accounted for by smartwatches."

Smartwatch growth will be driven by new entrants into the market, both from CE manufacturers - as companies such as Apple and LG move into smartwatches - and from watch companies which will integrate smart features into their devices.

Smartglasses are the least established wearable category covered in this new report, as no products are currently commercially available. Futuresource therefore anticipates that the market for smartglasses will first emerge in 2014, when Google Glass will be released.

According to the research, Futuresource forecasts that in 2014 there will be less than one million smartglasses sold, growing to almost seven million by 2017, with a total retail value closing in on two billion dollars. This assumes the entrance into the market of a large number of key CE brands by 2015, though uptake will initially be limited to a fairly niche, tech-savvy portion of consumers.

"One significant question with smartglasses is the degree of autonomy the devices will have - whether they will be devices that are paired with another or whether they will be standalone," says Rowntree. "Furthermore, unless wearable devices develop to fulfil much of the function of other devices such as smartphones, uptake will be more limited in emerging markets. As with specialist fitness wearables, without the functionality of smartphones they are relatively niche luxury products."

Looking at the bigger picture, the wearable electronics segment will continue to expand as consumer awareness and acceptance take hold, and Futuresource research pegs the market at a value of around $20 billion by 2017.