Wearable Technology 2016-2026

Wearable technology concerns any electronic products that are designed to be worn on the person. In this report, IDTechEx analysts find that the market will be worth over $30bn in 2016, and growing in three stages: 10% annually to over $40bn in 2018, but then accelerating to 23% through to over $100bn by 2023, before slowing to 11% to reach over $150bn by 2026.

Global wearable technology forecast summary, including 39 forecast lines covering all prominent products today (e.g. smartwatches, fitness trackers, smart eyewear, smart clothing, medical devices and more), but also to many incumbent products (e.g. headphones, hearing aids, basic electronic watches and more).


Source: IDTechEx

Compiled after three years of dedicated and ongoing research by expert analysts, this report details IDTechEx’ s coverage of the wearable technology ecosystem. The report looks at the industry from many different perspectives, with detailed discussion framing core primary research and market forecasting. The report examines the historical context for wearable technology products, looking at key yet contrasting sectors such as medical devices and commodity infotainment items like headphones or electronic watches. It then focuses on key trends today, ranging from societal megatrends (e.g. the aging population), to industry-wide innovation trends (e.g. evolving form factors and interfaces in devices), and finally down to core player-by-player strategies within industry and product verticals.

Fuelled by a frenzy of hype, funding and global interest, wearable technology was catapulted to the top of the agenda for companies spanning the entire value chain and world. This investment manifested in hundreds of new products and extensive tailored R&D investigating relevant technology areas. However, the fickle nature of hype is beginning to show, and many companies are now progressing beyond discussing “wearables” to focus on the detailed and varied sub-sectors. Within this report, we include sections on each key of these key product areas, including fitness trackers, smartwatches, smart clothing, smart eyewear (including AR and VR), smart skin patches, headphones and more. We also look separately by application sector (including healthcare & medical, fitness & wellness, professional sports, infotainment, enterprise, military and fashion), giving detailed case studies within each, but also discussing the trend that is seeing increasing cross-industry collaboration and product development.

IDTechEx analysis and forecasting across 39 categories of wearable technology device, segmented by industry, product type and location on the body.


  • Healthcare & medical
  • Fitness & wellness
  • Infotainment
  • Commercial
  • Industrial
  • Military
  • Other
  • Multi-sector

Product Type

  • Smartwatches – Including case studies on product evolution relative to the future of smartphones and new standalone personal communication devices;
  • Fitness trackers – Including wrist-worn (in two separate categories), chest worn, the move to apparel and other form factors (clip-on, ear-worn, etc.);
  • Smart eyewear – Including virtual reality (VR), augmented (AR) and mixed reality, smart contact lenses;
  • Smart clothing – Including elite sportswear, consumer sports apparel, heated apparel, chest straps, medical apparel, fashion apparel, workwear monitoring apparel, military apparel and others;
  • Medical devices – Including breakdown by disease vertical, e.g. diabetes (sensors & pumps), cardiovascular treatments and monitoring, skin patches (physical, chemical, body area mapping), contact lenses (glaucoma, diabetes, etc.), hearing aids, neurological treatments, diagnostics devices, and others;
  • Other infotainment devices – Including headphones (basic and smart, low and high end) and electronic watches.

Location on body

  • Head
  • Ear
  • Eyes
  • Body (torso)
  • Arms
  • Wrist
  • Legs & feet
  • Implantable
  • Multi-location / adaptability by user or use case

This report contains granular 10-year forecasts describing revenues, volumes and pricing for 39 separate wearable technology product types from 2016-2026. To accompany this data, we have dedicated a chapter to the discussion of key trends throughout the industry as a series of case studies. This includes qualitative discussion backed up by key forecast data, and covers topics including the future of fitness tracking, a qualified case for growth in augmented, mixed and virtual reality segments, a study of smartwatches viewed in parallel to the future of standalone communication devices (e.g. smartphones), healthcare and medical devices and finally a study looking at wearables in the enterprise sector.

IDTechEx’s team of expert analysts have been actively covering wearable electronics and parallel topics for the last decade. This report contains 60 company profiles and interviews with many of the largest, most innovative and disruptive companies in the ecosystem. All profiles are generated from interview-based primary research with key staff from the subject company, and are compiled alongside our other research to give maximum insight. In our end user interviews, we outline the future direction in some of the world’s largest companies, outlining their vision for how wearables will fit within their business models, and what they feel is needed from the industry to drive further growth.

Learn more at www.IDTechEx.com