Between teleworking, connected activities at home and a new relationship with health, the year 2020 and the health crisis have fundamentally changed our daily lives and thus our consumption of connected objects, which are known as “ready-made goods”. By this term we mean technological products in the form of clothing or accessories that we carry with us, such as watches, bracelets, headphones and helmets, patches, shoes, etc. They are also called wearables. According to Gartner, global spending on these devices will be $ 69 billion in 2020. An amount well above last year’s estimates by the consulting firm, which instead is betting on a market of $ 51.5 billion. Instead of a 27% increase from 2019 (40.5 billion), the sector is growing at 70%.
How can you explain such an increase? Exceptional results in an exceptional year! For Gartner, the coronavirus pandemic is the main driver of these unprecedented results for a number of reasons: the generalization of teleworking, the desire to analyze one’s own health, and the increase in home sports.
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Clocks and headphones attached to the top of the table
Like last year, smartwatches are the most popular accessories. Swiss Army Knife tools that are directly connected to the smartphone are becoming more and more attractive to the public as prices fall and performance and service rise. In 2020, connected watches represented a worldwide expenditure of 21.8 billion dollars, 17.6% more than in 2019. Gartner is expected to continue growing with sales of 25.8 billion dollars. in 2021 and 31.3 billion in 2022.
On the other hand, connected headphones saw the strongest growth. They had already had a great success last year. In terms of numbers, the consumption of these accessories more than doubled in one year from $ 14.6 billion to $ 32.7 billion. However, the consultancy predicts flatter growth in the future (39.2 billion in 2021 and 44.1 billion in 2022). It must be said that in the past year the conditions were favorable for their use: in the context of teleworking and the numerous video conference sessions, the employees were equipped in droves!
The boom in connected health-related accessories
The health crisis associated with COVID-19 has also fundamentally changed our behavior towards our health. We not only wash our hands regularly, but also pay more attention to our well-being and possible symptoms of illness. Connected accessories, which used to be preferred by people with certain disorders, have therefore become more democratic, like smart patches. The latter are installed on the skin and regularly take certain measurements (for example, the blood sugar level in diabetics) and distribute the necessary reactions through the pores of the skin (for example, a dose of insulin). Other uses may be more appealing to party-goers: a patch was developed to distribute vitamins one night, which is slightly watered to limit headaches the next day.
According to Gartner, the market in this sector has slowed somewhat because consumers were not satisfied with the idea of taking medication automatically. “Smart patches have been around for a while, but their adoption has been slow due to strict compliance with regulations and opposition from users and healthcare professionals to the introduction of automated drug delivery,” said Ranjit Atwal, senior research analyst at Gartner. The fear seems to have disappeared thanks to the technical improvements in the accessories. The devices record and analyze data more and more precisely. So much so, in fact, that the performance gap between medical and non-medical devices is narrowing significantly, especially with the Apple Watch, which is gradually proving its worth in terms of connected health.
The wearable device market could reach $ 81.5 billion in 2021
The final factor that explains the craze for “ready-made” connected objects is the miniaturization of sensors, according to Gartner. The consultancy estimates that by 2024 10% of all these technologies will become transparent to the user. This argument should convince many people to equip themselves, especially the elderly who refuse to use hearing aids so as not to show that they cannot hear!
According to the consulting company, for all the reasons described above, enthusiasm for connected properties should not decline in the coming years. Gartner even predicts a year 2021 with 81.5 billion dollars, which corresponds to a further market increase of 18.1%. The number could even rise to 93.85 billion by 2022. A bright future in sight, provided the sector remains transparent about the use of the data collected, among other things.