Fitness Trackers Hit More Specific Targets

BY Courtney Huckabay
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A new report from Juniper Research forecasts that specialized fitness wearables integrated into clothing and ear-​based ‘hearables’ will grow from an expected 4.5 million shipped in 2018 to nearly 30 million in 2022, an increase of more than 550%. By contrast, conventional activity tracker shipments will only grow by 20% in that time.

Fitbit & Huami Market Share to Drop

The new research, Health & Fitness Wearables: Vendor Strategies, Trends & Forecasts 2018–2022, found that as growth in basic trackers has slowed, session-​specific wearables, for example those monitoring gym sessions, have multiplied. Devices from companies like Under Armour, Sensoria, Gymwatch, Atlas and Jabra provide more granular metrics without the additional messaging and call-​handling functions of more general wearables.

It found that as detailed metrics become widespread amongst all vendors, lifestyle tracking leaders such as Fitbit and Huami will decline in market share. Combined, these players will account for 28% of total fitness wearable shipments by 2022, down from over 40% in 2017.

Retailers can emphasize the specific workout capabilities of wearables in advertising to keep sales from declining. The newest AudienceSCAN study found 15% of Americans are using fitness trackers.

Data Opportunity for Fitness, Still a Hurdle for Health care

The research found that the key battleground for fitness wearables is now data, which will ultimately become device-​agnostic thanks to initiatives like Suunto’s Movesense platform. However, due to lack of consumer interest, Juniper expects fitness software and services revenues to remain under $200 million per annum over the next 4 years.

Despite the promise of wearables in health care, there is little specialized hardware available, with fitness wearables being adapted for health care purposes. Juniper expects health care wearables to make up under a third of all such devices in use by 2022, as regulation slows rollouts and keeps prices high.

Marketers shouldn't count on a decline yet. The latest AudienceSCAN survey revealed that consumers already using fitness trackers are 137% more likely than average to buy more fitness-​tracking bands, watches or other wearables this year. And, 11.5% of Fitness Trackers said they intend to purchase smartwatches (like Apple Watch, Samsung Gear, etc.) this year.

Health care usage has long been the goal of many wearables manufacturers”, remarked research author James Moar. “However, more research needs to be done on activity tracking in order to make typical wearables data clinically meaningful to healthcare professionals.”

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.