App Opportunities on Wearable Market

February 18, 2014

The market for wearable devices continue to expand and BI Intelligence estimates that it will be worth $12 billion by 2017. Such rapid growth generates new opportunities for entrepreneurs in the wearable computing niche, and it is a matter of time before the app blast will happen. The main task for any entrepreneur is to get lucky and immediately move from the idea stage to action. Eyewear and smart watches are now the main platforms in which wearable app pioneers can set the trends for upcoming years.

We first saw Google Glass more than a year ago and the list of glass apps continues to grow, helping us in cooking, driving and other daily activities. But for now, it’s a little bit boring, because there is nothing new. We are asked to take our smartphones out of our hands, but without receiving a catchy thing for our eyes instead. Remembering Vint Cerf’s words, “It’s the early days of this thing. By 2014, we should have a good idea of what people will want to do with Glass.”

I think the fitness app Raceyourself can make a software breakthrough, and with added realism it will put Glass apps on a new level. According to the promo video, we’ll be able to compete with ourselves in different kinds of sports, run from zombies and dodge flying rocks to motivate us on a new gamified level… not bad, eh? In this stream, it  becomes possible to change the educational area, making playing the piano or dancing much easier to learn with virtual possibilities. We should mention that the number of eyewear continues to grow, and this September we are going to see the Samsung Galaxy Glass, according to Korea Times. So the market potential for glass apps is huge.

Going further, let’s discuss our wrists — or, to be more precise, smartwatches that now are in focus of almost all tech companies. During the last year, the world saw Peeble, Galaxy Gear, Sony Smartwach, and Google watch, and now we are all waiting for iWatch.

Eric Megigovsky, Founder and CEO at Peeble, said: “I think one factor behind the growing interest in the smartwatch category is that people find real value in having information easily accessible to them. And, a watch is such a great entry point for all kinds of information because it’s right there on your wrist, it’s easy to see and generally people wear them every day.”

According to NextMarket Insights, smartwatch sales will soar from 15 million watches shipped in 2014 to over 373 million by 2020. With regard to iWatch, it’s worth mentioning that further market growth highly depends on its launch; it could drive shipments up 325% by 2015.

Talking about development priorities, we must consider that popularity and variety of health and fitness apps rise every day and ABI predicts that this market will cross $400 million with more than 1 billion annual health-related app downloads by 2016. “Self-monitoring” has entered the mainstream, in which we all are involved. So the creation of health and fitness apps for wearable devices may become a great startup opportunity for next 2-3 years.

Summarizing all the forecasts and their statistical basis: the wearable market is wide open for new ideas in app development, and software supply can drive significant demand with such a lightly saturated market.