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Infographic — “Wearables” Means Worn on Wrist

Chart: Wearables market

Click on image for full-size view (Statista)

22 September 2018. At Science & Enterprise, we’re reporting more and more about systems that can be worn unobtrusively by individuals as they go about their daily lives, known simply as “wearables.” As the recent titles and links below indicate, most of these wearable systems are designed to monitor one’s physical or mental health, which usually connect to mobile device apps that collect and sometimes share or transmit the data. The shared data can then be sent as alerts to caregivers, stored in electronic health records, or captured in databases for further analysis.

As the chart — and this weekend’s infographic — from our friends at Statista indicate, however, the term “wearables” in most cases means a device worn on the wrist. Data collected from the market research company IDC show smartwatches as far and away the most popular form of wearable with more than 72 million of the devices shipped this year. In second place are physical activity monitors worn as wristbands, with more than 44 million expected to be shipped this year. But the most growth in wearables between now and 2022 is expected to be in smartwatches, while activity-monitor wristband sales are predicted to remain flat.

While the numbers today are much smaller, devices worn as clothing or fit into the ear are expected to grow markedly between now and 2022, to about 11 and 12 million items respectively. The once ballyhooed Google Glass, however, barely registers on the chart today, with virtually no growth in shipments anticipated over the next 4 years.

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