Smart Wearables – a $30 billion dollar opportunity
Fuelled by the enthusiasm of the big players to embrace this market, analysts are falling over themselves to define and inflate the size of the wearable market opportunity, predicting a market worth over $30 billion by 2020.
That belief is driven by a desperate need for major companies to find something to follow on from laptops, tablets and PCs, all of which are being commoditised. In his seminal book on technical disruption “The Innovator’s Dilemma”, Clayton Christiansen warns that “no one can learn from market research what the early market will be. I can hire consultants, but the only thing I can know for sure is that their findings will be wrong”. As I look at the current predictions, that warning feels worryingly appropriate. The problem is that most of the models being used to estimate the consumer appetite for wearable technology are built around technology push, with manufacturers trying to shape their technology to fit what they believe consumers will buy. It’s a strategy that is likely to fail, as wearable technology is more personal than any product they’ve ever made before. To try and see whether there is a market, I’ve put together a report that looks at the market opportunity from the contrary viewpoint, building it up from known consumer behaviour and preferences. Whilst there’s no guarantee that doesn’t fall into the same Christiansen trap, it suggests the market could still reach $30 billion in 2020, but with a very different mix of products being made by some very different companies…
By NICK HUNN