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article image'Three billion' wearable sensors to be in use by 2025

By James Walker     Aug 27, 2015 in Technology
A report has estimated that over three billion sensors will be put to collective use on our bodies over the next ten years, fuelled by growth in the wearables market. The number of physical sensors available is also expected to grow.
The smartwatch market is expected to grow by 54 per cent over the next five years. This kind of device has a heavy reliance on sensors to power most functionality but today it is estimated that there are only around 15 kinds in popular use.
They can be broadly categorised into groups like cameras, microphones, accelerometers, gyroscopes and heart rate and pressure monitors. ITProPortal writes that a report by IDTechEx Research says that 30% more next-generation sensors will be used by 2025 though, creating a new wave of devices with even more connectivity than today's smartwatches and fitness bands.
This will lead to the global population carrying three billion sensors with them each day as they move around the world. The market for wearable devices is expected to balloon in size to a value of $70 billion.
Currently, demand for smartwatches remains relatively low. Last year, a total of 6.8 million devices were sold at an average price of $189. Both of those figures are likely to be substantially higher this year because of the impact of the Apple Watch's launch but the market as a whole is yet to really find favour with the average consumer.
As Business Insider pointed out in a report three months ago, many people still aren't really sure how a smartwatch could benefit them or what owning one would achieve. As with the advent of smartphones, smartwatches are likely to take a while to overcome the initial "early adoption" stage before becoming mainstream and developing into a section of the technology market that companies won't be able to afford to overlook.
This can only be achieved when a manufacturer convinces a consumer that a smartwatch can further enhance their already "smart" life by creating a product capable of achieving the same effect as Apple managed with the launch of the first-generation iPhone. A recent report suggested that it may be Android that converts people to smart wearables, estimating 57.9% growth for Android Wear over the six years from 2014 to 2020.
Another crucial element which wasn't so topical back in 2007 is the concerns of privacy advocates. Having access to the data from hundreds of sensors is not the same as being the only person with access.
Worries about government surveillance and indiscriminate hacking of the services storing those files remain, creating another issue which manufacturers will have to overcome. However, it may currently be an uphill struggle but by all accounts we'll be using smartwatches as freely as we use smartphones in just a few more years' time.
More about smartwatch, Wearable, Sensor, Device, Fitness
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