Wearable technology has taken the smart tech market to new heights over the years and has come a long way from its roots. The introduction of trending functionalities such as health monitoring and fitness tracking, communicating and sharing via a smartwatch has made them a popular choice among many consumers.
The quickness and ease of using smartwatches have also made it quite attractive to different types of industries such as sports, health, fashion and business, which can explain why it has rapidly grown over the years.
From the chart below, we can see that in 2014 the number of smartwatches sold in units of millions is considerably low in comparison to the number of sales made in 2018. This shows evidence of growth on the scale of 278 million units sold over five years.
So as time ticks on, what do smartwatches have to offer for 2019?
Battery reliability is essential for wearable devices. Especially for those that produce and offer precise and continuous records of data. As wearable devices are becoming smaller and lighter, a strain on performance levels from the technology is increasing. Therefore, the amount of energy provided by batteries has to be adapted accordingly. VARTA Microbattery is a battery organisation dealing in Microbatteries and Power & Energy who are launching three new lithium-ion cells. The coin-shaped cells have a large capacity and fast charging capabilities making them easy to install in devices. Even with these batteries, most smartwatches are water resistant. For instance, according to SmartphoneChecker, Apple Watch can withstand up to 50 meters in depth.
The durable steel housing of the cells ensures high tolerance against impact and vibration. The CoinPower and its circular properties enable up to 30 per cent higher energy density than comparable batteries on the market, making them an ideal energy source for wearables.
Healthcare and Wellness
Smartwatches can track and inform users of their health and wellbeing for some time now. They provide detailed and vital information about sleeping patterns and better eating. However, the FDA has recently granted Verily, Alphabet’s research organisation which focuses on the study of life sciences, a 510(k) grant for its Study smartwatch. The prescription-only Study Watch isn’t an ordinary smartwatch but is meant for medical research. The Study Watch is an investigational medical device intended for seamless and scalable data collection in clinical research. The device is designed to leverage specialised sensors and robust cloud infrastructure to capture and analyse physiological and environmental data. The invention also features a sleek design along with an always-on display to appeal to a broader market of users.
A price drop in wearables
Smartwatches are traditionally seen as a supporting piece of technology to phones and tablets and have remained at a relatively high price point, arguing that smartwatches are aimed mainly at technology enthusiasts rather than reaching out to the everyday mass-market consumer. According to Gartner, this is set to change in 2019, with lower price points driving growth in shipments of smartwatches. As the industry begins dropping smartwatch prices the market is set to mature and evolve which can meet more varied consumer demands, resulting in a segmentation of the market, as distinct user functionalities will emerge. Leading consumer electronic brands will continue to offer options for tech-savvy users, while fashion and traditional watch brands will provide more choices to meet the needs of design and luxury-focused consumers.
As the market and consumer demands change in technology, the smartwatch platform along with many other technology platforms will need to change and evolve. It seems the range of applications the smartwatch can offer is moving in different directions and outside of the little bubble that we once thought it couldn’t expand from. There are many areas that the smartwatch can be applied in, such as the health sector as we have seen. Slowly as the hardware develops to support the software, the smartwatch might be used as an essential everyday tool rather than one which is only aimed at tech-savvy consumers or to be fashionable. It seems there is much in the way of smartwatches advancing and 2019 will be able to give it the leverage that it has needed to excel forward.