Shipments of wearable electronic devices for fitness will dip slightly next year, as the functionality of smartwatches, smart wristbands and other wearable fitness monitors overlaps. Gartner expects shipments to reach 68.1 million units, down from 70 million in 2014. Following the dip, shipments of smart wristbands and other fitness monitors will rebound in 2016, thanks to ‘versatile’ designs and models with lower-cost displays.
The five main fitness wearable form factors are: smart wristbands; sports watches; heart rate monitor chest straps; smart garments; and other fitness monitors. Watches and chest straps are well established, while wristbands are growing. However, Gartner believes that the smart garment category shows the largest growth potential. Shipments are forecast to rise from 100,000 units this year to 26 million in 2016.