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charlesarthur : wearables   24

Apple and Fitbit numbers show smartwatches turning into a winner-take-all market • CNBC
Ari Levy:
<p>At the end of 2018, Apple controlled 50% of the global smartwatch market in terms of units shipped, according to Strategy Analytics. Fitbit was second at 12.2%, followed by Samsung, which sells Android-powered devices, at 11.8%.

In its effort to stay competitive, Fitbit has been slashing prices, which resulted in a shrinking of its gross margin, or the profit left after subtracting costs of goods sold, to 34.5% from 39.8%.

Fitbit cited weaker-than-expected sales of its Versa Lite device, a lightweight smartwatch that it introduced earlier this year, for its disappointing numbers and lowered the midpoint of its revenue guidance for 2019 to $1.46bn from $1.56bn.

Following its after-hours plunge, Fitbit is now worth less than $1bn. It has lost 82% of its value since its IPO in 2015.

Park is trying to reduce his company’s reliance on device sales and focus more on premium services, which will create a “longer lasting relationship with users while changing perception of products and services from a nice to have to need to have,” the Fitbit CEO said on Wednesday’s earnings call.</p>

Fitbit’s full-year revenue is about what Apple sells in wearables in a month. Now imagine that Samsung sells even less, and that other Android Wear companies sell less than that. Who’s really making profit in wearables?
Fitbit  wearables 
20 days ago by charlesarthur
Data without a cause — the hype and hope around wearables • Medium
Annastiina Salminen:
<p>none of the users I talked to had presented any of their sleep or activity data to their doctors or other health professionals. Despite their intrigue, the weekly heart rate variance or the share of REM of last night’s sleep are still arbitrary numbers with little actionability from a scientific perspective. What does a readiness level of 73 actually mean and how does it differ from 52? Are these just vanity metrics or is there a way for the doctor to somehow contextualize them?

The most avid proponents of quantified self think that the clinical system is broken. In times where scientific versus experiential experience is a continuous topic of discussion, the information asymmetry argued to have benefited the clinicians instead of the patients is now perceived to have been turned upside down thanks to the rise of wearables and the democratized access to data. But it’s important to note that all data doesn’t carry the same value. The information asymmetry argument holds true when looking only at the sheer volume, but the main challenge of identifying the clinical benefit of wearables data and integrating it to the clinical work is that despite being mile wide, it’s still only an inch deep…

…Health data is the last frontier that lacks democratization, and the push for wearables is a result of that impatience. The data and the consumer-grade devices presenting it might be far from reliable, but they are the first wave towards a more open health data ecosystem and needs to be taken seriously. The responsibility to interpret the readiness levels and sleep data doesn’t lie with the individual, but with the doctors and every other actor in the ecosystem. </p>
data  wearables 
january 2019 by charlesarthur
Success of Apple Watch means more growth in sales of wearable technology • CCS Insight
<p>The latest forecast published by CCS Insight indicates solid demand for smart wearable devices in 2018. The firm calculates that 117 million devices will be sold in 2018, doubling to 233 million in 2022 with a market value of over $27 billion.

Smartwatches continue to gain in popularity, primarily thanks to the success of market leader Apple, which extended its product range with the launch of its Series 4 Apple Watch in September. The company is also offering the Apple Watch at the broadest range of prices so far, making it even more accessible to iPhone owners.

CCS Insight is more positive than ever about the future of the smartwatch market. Supporting this view is its recent smartwatch user survey, which found that more than 90% of respondents use their smartwatch most days.

CCS Insight's senior analyst for wearables, George Jijiashvili, notes, "The combination of Apple's success with its Watch and the high engagement levels we're seeing among smartwatch owners reflects the value people are now placing on these products. It's a step change from a few years ago, when we consistently saw high levels of abandonment from early smartwatch users, who quickly became disenchanted with initial products"…

…CCS Insight analyst Jijiashvili adds, "The Apple Watch has done well because it's bought by iPhone owners. People with Android smartphones represent a far bigger market and we believe that conditions are right for the next wave of smartwatch adoption thanks to an ever-improving selection of smartwatches from fashion and consumer electronics brands hit the market".

CCS Insight's forecast indicates 85m smartwatches will be sold in 2019, growing to 137m units in 2022.</p>


That's a lot, given that Android/Wear OS hasn't made a big impression on the world.
applewatch  wearables 
october 2018 by charlesarthur
Your inner drone: the politics of the automated future • Long Reads
Nick Carr:
<p>Many computer companies and software houses now say they’re working to make their products invisible. “I am super excited about technologies that disappear completely,” declares Jack Dorsey, a prominent Silicon Valley entrepreneur. “We’re doing this with Twitter, and we’re doing this with [the online credit-card processor] Square.” Apple has promoted the iPad as a device that “gets out of the way.” Picking up on the theme, Google markets Glass as a means of “getting technology out of the way.”

The prospect of having a complicated technology fade into the background, so it can be employed with little effort or thought, can be as appealing to those who use it as to those who sell it. “When technology gets out of the way, we are liberated from it,” the New York Times columnist Nick Bilton has written. But it’s not that simple. You don’t just flip a switch to make a technology invisible. It disappears only after a slow process of cultural and personal acclimation. As we habituate ourselves to it, the technology comes to exert more power over us, not less. We may be oblivious to the constraints it imposes on our lives, but the constraints remain. As the French sociologist Bruno Latour points out, the invisibility of a familiar technology is “a kind of optical illusion.” It obscures the way we’ve refashioned ourselves to accommodate the technology.</p>


Carr's pieces flow like a river, but like a river you also have to let it carry you onwards.
wearables  computing 
october 2018 by charlesarthur
In Apple’s third act, the iPhone plays supporting role • WSJ
Christopher Mims:
<p>In 2017, “services” was already a $30bn business at Apple, and in the company’s most recent quarter, it accounted for nearly $10bn. Because Apple’s services include subscriptions and sales from iCloud, the App Store, Apple Pay and Apple Music, this slice of revenue doesn’t fluctuate as dramatically as hardware sales.

All of Apple’s wearables are not only compatible with Apple’s services, but also seem designed to enhance those revenue streams. Consider the fact that a cellular-connected Apple Watch Series 3 can stream only Apple Music, or that Siri is the only smart assistant you can summon directly from Apple’s AirPods.

“When you get right down to it, is it about Apple’s hardware? Yes, but I’d argue it’s really about having the [Apple] experience on any device you choose to carry, wear or put on,” says Ramon Llamas, an analyst at IDC.

Anytime there is a change to how we use computers, there’s potential for an upset to existing hierarchies. As the first U.S.-listed trillion-dollar company, Apple might seem to be well positioned to dominate the era of wearables. But if wearable computing becomes more about access to the cloud, there’s another trillion-dollar company that’s had more success in cloud computing, as well as in selling those now nearly ubiquitous talking speakers. (Yes, I’m talking about Amazon.com Inc. )

Here’s how Apple maintains its edge and becomes the dominant wearables company: It makes the most capable and one of the most popular smartwatches in the world, but ensures that it’s not as useful without other Apple gadgets and services. Next, it repeats that logic for every class of wearable it eventually makes, be it headphones, glasses, health monitors or others.</p>
apple  wearables 
september 2018 by charlesarthur
From eight Apple management clues, a surprisingly clear(-ish) two-year window Into Apple's wearables business • AAPL Tree
The quietly anonymous author of this blog has pulled a number of subtle clues from Apple management financial calls to put together these quite surprising summaries:
<p><img src="https://c.apple.news/AgEkY2JjZTEyNTktMTdmNi00NGRmLTg0Y2QtNThlZjA0ZGRlN2NjADE3" width = "100%" />

I know, just a simple revenue chart's kinda boring, and seems like an anticlimactic way to end a connect-the-dots Apple financial "research" post. So, sure, I can throw out some things that jumped out at me and add extra (entertainment) value.

(1) The last eight quarters of Apple Wearables added around $17bn of revenue, and the trailing four quarters represent a combined ~60% growth rate over the prior four-quarter period. Not only is that considerably better than the 37% or so combined growth from all of Other Products in that same period of time, it also implies that Other Product Non-Wearables is a relatively unexciting business for Apple in comparison. Yes, it's an extrapolation of an extrapolation with all that implies, but non-Wearables revenue growth over the same period looks to be mid-single digits, making it abundantly clear what set of products is breathing life into this revenue category.

(2) Apple Wearables, over the trailing four quarters, is approaching two-thirds of Other Products Revenues. "Clue 8" alone was all that was needed to arrive at this conclusion, but it's a fun observation nonetheless given the semi-symmetry with iPhone, which tends to represent more than 60% of total Apple revenues in any given quarter.

(3) Bet you didn't know this one - Apple Wearables, on a trailing-four-quarters basis, has quietly surpassed iPod's all-time annual revenue record: $9.15bn, set in FY 2008, if memory serves.</p>


He even reckons you could break out the Watch/non-Watch wearables data, given some of the clues to be found. Of course one thing Apple has now that it didn't when it began the iPod is scale. In 2001 it was a tiny company, relatively. When it launched the Watch, it was already gigantic. That doesn't make the Watch or iPod less of a success; just shows that this stuff is all relative.

Also: this is an Apple News link (it's the only sort he offers), so if you're reading on an iOS device it'll try to open it in Apple News. I couldn't find an original site URL for it.
apple  wearables 
august 2018 by charlesarthur
New wearables forecast: smartwatches to continue ascendance while wristbands face flat growth • IDC
<p>"The shift in consumer preferences towards smartwatches has been in full swing these past few quarters and we expect that to continue in the coming years," said Jitesh Ubrani senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers. "While Apple will undoubtedly lead in this category, what bears watching is how Google and its partners move forward. WearOS (formerly Android Wear) has been somewhat of a laggard recently and despite expected changes to the OS and the release of new silicon, we anticipate Android-based watches to be WearOS' closest competitor due to the high amount of customization available to vendors and the lack of Google services in China."

"Additionally, keep an eye on the other smartwatch platforms, including Fitbit's Fitbit OS, Garmin's Connected IQ, and Samsung's Tizen," said Ramon T. Llamas, research director for IDC's Wearables team. "Fitbit's Versa has had a warm reception in the market, and Garmin's devices have had a steady presence for many quarters. Expect both companies to dive deeper into health and fitness while exploring new areas as well. Samsung, meanwhile, continues to make strides in the commercial space, including health care and wearable workflows."

Smartwatches will evolve to encompass far more features and functionalities than they have today. "The smartwatches of 2022, even 2020, will make today's smartwatches seem quaint," added Llamas. "Health and fitness is a strong start, but when you include cellular connectivity, integration with other Internet of Things (IoT) devices and systems, and how smartwatches can enable greater efficiencies, the smartwatch market is heading for steady growth in the years to come."</p>


Forecasts the total market will grow 8.2% this year, to 124.9m units; smartwatches to be 44% of that (55m), of which Apple will be 20.2m.
smartwatch  wearables  idc 
june 2018 by charlesarthur
Wearables market up 35% in Q1 2018 as Apple and Xiaomi maintain lead • Canalys
<p>Apple Watch shipments stabilized after a record quarter for the company and it matched its Q1 2017 number. “Key to Apple’s success with its latest Apple Watch Series 3 is the number of LTE-enabled watches it has been able to push into the hands of consumers,” said Canalys Senior Analyst Jason Low. “Operators welcome the additional revenue from device sales and the added subscription revenue for data on the Apple Watch, and the list of operators that sell the LTE Apple Watch worldwide is increasing each month.” Apple represents 59% of the total cellular-enabled smartwatch market. “While the Apple ecosystem has a strong LTE watch offering, the lack of a similar product in the Android ecosystem is glaring. If Google decides to pursue the opportunity with a rumored Pixel Watch, it would jump-start much needed competition in this space.”

<img src="https://www.canalys.com/static/press_release/images/sw.png" width="100%" />

Garmin is now the second largest smartwatch vendor after Apple, with 1 million smartwatches shipped in the last quarter. “Garmin’s transition to smartwatches has been swift as it focuses its GPS expertise on catering to endurance athletes and outdoor enthusiasts,” said Vincent Thielke, Research Analyst at Canalys. “It brought much needed improvements by adding features such as Garmin Pay to the Forerunner and vívoactive series, and now offers onboard music storage on the latest Forerunner 645.</p>


Very weird to still be mixing fitness bands with smartwatches. They're really not comparable. And the WearOS space looks more and more anaemic.
wearables  apple  applewatch 
may 2018 by charlesarthur
Nokia might give up on wearables (updated) • Engadget
Rachel England:
<p>Less than two years after spending millions repositioning itself in the consumer health market, Nokia has announced a strategic review of its digital health business which comes after news that the company could shed up to 425 jobs in its home country of Finland. Nokia acquired French fitness tracker manufacturer Withings for $191m in 2016 as part of its new digital health strategy WellCare, which is not dissimilar to Apple's HealthKit. The deal came amid a spate of acquisitions by Nokia, buoyed by investment from Microsoft following their Windows Phone agreement.

But despite the company's confident move into the health market, it wrote down $175m of goodwill on the business in the third quarter of 2017, which essentially means Withings' net assets weren't as valuable as Nokia initially thought. Nokia has tried to replicate Withings' previous accomplishments, but what works for a small French startup has clearly not worked for a conglomerate with expectations of huge success. And, there's less demand for wearables now than when they first landed - by the time Nokia got involved, Apple already had a firm hold on the market.</p>

Not necessarily withdrawal, but looks a lot like it.
Nokia  wearables 
february 2018 by charlesarthur
Intel eliminates wearables division • CNBC
Christina Farr:
<p>Intel has axed the division that worked on health wearables, including fitness trackers, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The company has been slowly de-emphasizing its own line of wearables for the past several years, and has not mentioned wearables on its earnings calls since 2014.

In November, TechCrunch reported that the company was planning to take a step back from the business after its acquisition of the Basis fitness watch didn't pan out as expected. Intel denied at the time that it was stepping back.

But a source told CNBC that the chip maker in fact let go about 80 percent of the Basis group in November. Many of the people were given the opportunity to relocate to other parts of the business.

About two weeks ago, Intel completely eliminated the group, this person said. The company's New Technologies Group, which looks at cutting-edge business areas, is now focusing on augmented reality, another source told CNBC.</p>


Anyone get the impression wearables are harder than they look?
intel  wearables 
july 2017 by charlesarthur
Jawbone looks to drop consumer wearables for clinical services • TechCrunch
Ingrid Lunden:
<p>Make way for one more pivot from Jawbone. The fitness band maker that originally started out in headsets and later made speakers, has abandoned selling and supporting consumer hardware following a deluge poor reviews and media reports that it has run out of money.

TechCrunch has learned and confirmed that Jawbone is preparing to shift its business yet again — moving from a focus on low-margin fitness bands sold directly to consumers, to a high-margin business to business to consumer model: a health product and accompanying set of services sold primarily to clinicians and health providers working with patients.

As part of that change, Jawbone is trying to raise more money. Sources tell us that it’s been in conversations with its current roster of backers, plus potentially new strategic investors in the wider medical sector, along with new investors outside the U.S.</p>


Having raised just shy of $1bn over the years, it's hard to see why you'd back Jawbone to make it into the highly-regulated world of clinical services, where others have been dug in for years and aren't going to make ex-consumer insurgents feel welcome. It would be sending good money after bad.
jawbone  wearables 
february 2017 by charlesarthur
Fitbit to buy Pebble • The Information
Reed Albergotti and Jessica Lessin:
<p>Fitbit, the leader in the fitness band market, is near a deal to acquire smartwatch maker Pebble, according to three people briefed on the deal.

The price couldn’t be learned but it is thought to be for a small amount. Pebble had been looking to sell, one of the people said. There have been signs over the past year or so that Pebble was facing financial challenges. Earlier this year it reportedly laid off about a quarter of its workforce.

The expected sale of Pebble to Fitbit signals a consolidation in the wearables market.

The Pebble brand will be phased out after the deal. What Fitbit will get is Pebble's intellectual property, such as  its operating system, one of the people said.</p>


Related, <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2016/12/1/13811154/motorola-moto-smartwatch-plans-halted?utm_campaign=dcseifert&utm_content=chorus&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter">by Dan Seifert at The Verge</a>:
<p>Lenovo Moto is not releasing another smartwatch for Android 2.0 next year: the company doesn’t “see enough pull in the market to put [a new smartwatch] out at this time,” though it may revisit the market in the future should technologies for the wrist improve. “Wearables do not have broad enough appeal for us to continue to build on it year after year” [head of global product development Shakil] Barkat said, and indicated that smartwatches and other wearable devices will not be in Moto’s annual device roadmap.</p>


After GoPro laying off, it looks like the wearables market is consolidating fast. Android Wear is in trouble, I think.
pebble  wearables  lenovo  moto  smartwatch 
december 2016 by charlesarthur
Intel is laying off a major portion of its wearables group • TechCrunch
Brian Heater:
<p>In June, Intel recalled Basis Peak devices due to overheating concerns — affecting, according to the company, roughly 0.2% of users. Rather than replacing the units, the company simply stopped sales of the device altogether. Intel took it a step further and shut down the Peak’s software support (including cloud storage), effective by year’s end.

It was clear at the time that this would prove a big setback for Intel’s wearable dreams. After all, the Basis acquisition hadn’t produced much for the company beyond the release of the Titanium, a snazzed up version of the Peak that looked a bit better with a business suit.

Now, according to sources close to the company, Intel is planning to take a major step back from its investment in the space — or possibly even exit wearables altogether. The changes will include a large number of layoffs in NDG, along with the larger New Technologies Group into which it was folded back in April of last year — a move already viewed at the time by some as an early sign of Intel’s displeasure with its wearables division.

The company has already informed a number of employees about the changes, with many expected to lose their jobs before year’s end. Reports thus far have been varied, but all point to a large job loss for those in the NDG and the possible shut down of the group altogether.</p>


In a statement, Intel denied the company is stepping back from wearables, though it didn't directly comment on the layoff news. It has "several products in the works that we are very excited about". Those might have been in the works and won't be followed by any more, though? Intel's problem is that it's not good at low-power work - and that's where the focus is.
intel  wearables 
november 2016 by charlesarthur
Snapchat Spectacles and the future of wearables • Stratechery
Ben Thompson:
<p>perhaps the most fascinating implication of Spectacles is what it says about the potential of a long-term rivalry between Snapchat and Apple. Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel has said that Snap née Snapchat is a camera company, not a social network. Or, perhaps more accurately, the company is both: it is a fully contained ecosystem that is more perfectly optimized for the continual creation and circulation of content than even Facebook. What matters from Apple’s perspective is that Snapchat, like Facebook or WeChat or other apps that users live in, is one layer closer to their customers. For now that is not a threat — you still need an actual device to run those apps — but then again most people used Google on Windows, which made Microsoft a lot of money even as it froze them out of the future.

This is exactly why Apple is right to push forward into the wearable space even though it is an area, thanks to the important role of services like Siri, in which they have less of an advantage. Modern moats are not about controlling distribution but about owning consumer touch points — in the case of wearables, quite literally.</p>


I've linked to this a little after its publication, but the general point Thompson is making - that groundbreaking products need to be able to slot into ecosystems around them - is crucial.
apple  snapchat  wearables 
october 2016 by charlesarthur
Snapchat’s 10 second video glasses are real and cost $130 • TechCrunch
Fitz Tepper:
<p>Snapchat’s long-rumored camera glasses are actually real. The startup’s first foray into hardware will be a pair of glasses called “Spectacles” and will go on sale this fall for $129.99, as first reported by The WSJ and confirmed to TechCrunch by the newly rebranded Snap Inc..

The glasses will only come in one size, but will be available in three colors – black, teal and coral.

To start recording you tap a button on the side of the glasses. Video capture will mimic Snapchat’s app, meaning you can only capture 10 seconds of video at once. This video will sync wirelessly to your phone, presumably making it available to share as a snap.</p>

I think Tepper meant to write that the glasses are "actually in prototype". It's a long road to sales in volume. The <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/snapchat-releases-first-hardware-product-spectacles-1474682719">Wall Street Journal's Seth Stevenson had the scoop</a>, which says that "Spectacles’ camera uses a 115-degree-angle lens, wider than a typical smartphone’s and much closer to the eyes’ natural field of view. The video it records is circular, more like human vision."

I've never thought of my field of vision as circular, to be honest. More like a broad oval. Also, Spiegel looks like Brains from Thunderbirds in those glasses. (Also, you can get <a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CB25RCQ/">glasses that do something like that from Amazon</a> already.)
snapchat  wearables 
september 2016 by charlesarthur
Worldwide smartwatch market will see modest growth in 2016 before swelling to 50m units in 2020 • IDC
<p>Apple's WatchOS will stay atop the smartwatch platform list throughout the forecast. The Series 2 Watch addresses some of the shortcomings of its Series 1 predecessor, but the lower price on the Series 1 (starting at $269 USD) may end up driving more volume in the upcoming holiday season. Still, these will be enough to keep watchOS the overall market leader, and future iterations of the Watch with new body styles, materials, and cellular connectivity will help cement the company's spot later in the forecast.

Android and Android Wear will see the fastest growth of any platform on the list, and by 2020 will challenge watchOS for the top position in the worldwide smartwatch market. Support from OEMs both inside and outside of the IT industry will adopt Android Wear as the cornerstone of their smartwatch strategy, and in the process will address gaps in the product portfolio to lure new users.</p>


Related: <a href="https://theoverspill.wordpress.com/2016/09/20/android-wear-going-to-make-google-create-the-next-zune/">Is Android Wear going to make Google create the next Zune?</a> Shameless self-promotion, on the point at which Android Wear has just passed 5m activations after 30 months on the market - and Apple has passed 16m sold.
androidwear  applewatch  wearables 
september 2016 by charlesarthur
Oops! Wearables can leak your PINs and passwords • TechCrunch
Natasha Lomas:
<a href="https://www.stevens.edu/schaefer-school-engineering-science/departments/electrical-computer-engineering">Collaborative research</a> conducted by a team from the department of electrical and computing engineering at the Stevens Institute of Technology and Binghamton University in New York State, has demonstrated how a wearable device such as a smartwatch could end up compromising a user’s PIN thanks to the motion sensing data it generates.

The team combined wearable sensor data harvested from more than 5,000 key entry traces made by 20 adults with an algorithm they created to infer key entry sequences based on analyzing hand movements, applying the technique to different types of keypads (including ATM style and Qwerty keypad variants) and using three different wearables (two smartwatches and a nine-axis motion-tracking device).

The result? They were able to crack PINs with 80% accuracy on the first attempt, and more than 90% accuracy after three ties… Ouch. Albeit, I guess you can say wearables are useful for something then.
security  wearables 
july 2016 by charlesarthur
Centre Stage Applewatch • Molly Watt Trust
"Lady Usher" has Usher's syndrome, which means that she is profoundly deaf and is losing her sight:
<p>I used to rely wholly on my cumbersome iPhone6+ to help me to navigate the maze of London’s streets with my guide dog. Most people don’t realise that you need both hands to work a guide dog, and I had to clumsily juggle the lead, harness and phone, while trying to orientate myself to where I was going. The sun’s glare often made it impossible for me to read the screen. I was stopped twice by police officers telling me to put my phone away, apparently, 'a blind person carrying a phone is asking for trouble'. 

My new AppleWatch has made things so much easier. I simply key in my route on my phone, pop it in my bag and the watch, hidden safely on my wrist, vibrates to tell me to go left and right using two different tactile pulses. Another signal lets me know when I have arrived at my destination. It is such a simple idea and so damn enabling. 

Just three weeks after I got the watch, my guide dog and I entered a month-long team steps challenge at my work place. Together, we walked almost 200 miles through the busy streets of London, simply by following the vibrations of the AppleWatch and the simple on screen instructions. For the first time ever, it felt like we owned the streets. The whole of London has opened up to me for the first time since I lost my sight. </p>


As she says,
<p>"If there was ever a good time to be losing your sight when you are already deaf, it is 2016. We are on the verge of great technology breakthroughs that will help to level the playing field even for those who are both deaf and blind. Driverless cars, haptic virtual reality, wearable technology - they will all soon be an everyday reality." </p>


Often we forget how transformative tech really can be.
disability  wearables  applewatch 
july 2016 by charlesarthur
How will the $34bn wearables market combat wearables fatigue? • Forbes
Paul Armstrong:
<p>Some sobering stats:

•50% of consumers lose interest in the product within a few months. [<a href="http://endeavourpartners.net/white-papers/">Endeavour Partners</a>]
•More than half of US wearable owners who have owned a device no longer use it. [<a href="http://www.pewinternet.org/2013/01/28/main-report-8/">Pew Research, 2013</a>]
The wearables market will be worth $34bn in 2020. [<a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/paullamkin/2016/02/17/wearable-tech-market-to-be-worth-34-billion-by-2020/#389e6def3fe3">CCS Insight</a>]

<img src="http://blogs-images.forbes.com/paularmstrongtech/files/2016/06/CCS_WW_wearables_forecast_February2016.png" width="100%" /><br />SOURCE: CCS Insight

It takes 66 days to make a new behaviour stick – that’s a long time in the fast-paced, notification saturated world we live in. Wearable devices can help but the person has to have a decent amount of willpower or the behaviour wanes. Successful apps usually demonstrate a good combination. For example; a fitness tracker and something like MyFitnessPal which monitors macronutrients food intake and can give you some great data points but it doesn’t give tailored advice. Based on the data above there may be trouble ahead if consumers don’t begin seeing value in wearable devices. The issues are clear – either the tech doesn’t work or it’s not of value. </p>


Wearables' biggest problem is battery life, no doubt. Means you have to take them off.
wearables 
june 2016 by charlesarthur
We're still committed • The Jawbone Blog
Hosain Rahman is CEO of Jawbone:
<p>As some of you may have recently seen, there have been a few incorrect media reports that Jawbone is exiting the wearables business or going out of business altogether. These reports are unequivocally false. This speculation appears to emanate from wrongful insinuations made in a blog post in which the particular digital publication has since made a “Correction.” Jawbone was not contacted on the specific insinuations prior to the post and other media picked them up before the digital publication posted a correction, further spreading this false information.

To be clear, Jawbone remains wholly committed to innovating in and building great wearables products. We have never been more excited about our pipeline of technology and products and look forward to sharing them with the world when ready.

We have always managed our inventory positions according to internal business processes and strategic product lifecycle objectives. This situation is no different and we will continue to support all of our products. UP2, UP3 and UP4 are still hugely popular and continue to sell well. We’re also continually inspired by stories of how our UP® community is using our products to live better.</p>


The "particular digital publication" appears to be Tech Insider (aka Business Insider), where <a href="http://www.techinsider.io/jawbone-stops-production-of-fitness-trackers-2016-5">the story from Friday May 27 has been seamlessly updated</a> to include this denial from June 1.

I'm not quite getting an unequivocal feeling that Jawbone is feeling strong. But it also shows how the world of zero-deadline digital can lead to messups; at least with a print deadline, you know when you need to answer. (That didn't stop screwups, but it gave you a time by which to prevent them.)
jawbone  wearables 
june 2016 by charlesarthur
Why women aren’t buying smartwatches » Racked
Nicola Fumo:
<p>Part of the advantage fitness trackers have over smartwatches with female consumers seems to be their simplicity. "The common knock against general-purpose smartwatches today is that they’re very overwhelming; they do too much," Fitbit CEO James Park told The Verge. Kaspar Heinrici, who designs traditional watches as well as connected devices for Fossil as its associate creative director, told Racked that the most common pushback it gets from women on wearables is a similar lack of seeing the need. "The first reaction to technical products from women is 'Oh, I don’t really need that functionality,' or 'That’s too much for me,'" he says. Fitness trackers are straightforward and, even more importantly, they offer the promise of a better self.

Aspiration is a strong tool in selling fashion. Think of the purchase motivations behind clothes, jewelry, or cosmetics. Largely, these aren't replenishment buys like razor blades or socks, and they're not thoughtful "big gadget" investments like televisions or washing machines. An internal tick is convinced life will be better with the confidence that comes with a dress that fits just so, a designer bag that communicates status, or the seamless disguising of under eye circles. Fitness trackers make an obvious path to an improved self; an increased awareness of behaviors that can be altered for results (more rest, fewer pounds, what have you). With all of their notifications and connected apps, smartwatches have yet to leverage the siren call of "me, but better."</p>


Though I'd say I know as many women who have Apple Watches as men. Android Wear, however - only men.
fashion  wearables  smartwatch 
january 2016 by charlesarthur
Apple debuts at the number two spot as the worldwide wearables market triples in 2Q15 » IDC
In its first appearance in the wearables market, Apple finds itself within striking distance of the established market leader, Fitbit. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, Apple shipped a total of 3.6 million units in the second quarter of 2015 (2Q15), just 0.8m units behind Fitbit's 4.4m units. Total shipment volume for the quarter came to 18.1m units, up 223.2% from the 5.6m units shipped in 2Q14.

"Anytime Apple enters a new market, not only does it draw attention to itself, but to the market as a whole," noted Ramon Llamas, Research Manager for IDC's Wearables team. "Its participation benefits multiple players and platforms within the wearables ecosystem, and ultimately drives total volumes higher. Apple also forces other vendors – especially those that have been part of this market for multiple quarters – to re-evaluate their products and experiences. Fairly or not, Apple will become the stick against which other wearables are measured, and competing vendors need to stay current or ahead of Apple. Now that Apple is officially a part of the wearables market, everyone will be watching to see what other wearable devices it decides to launch, such as smart glasses or hearables."


This rather mixes oranges and.. um, because the Fitbit is not a "watch". I'd prefer to see "watches" and "bands" separated, but that might be tricky. Telling that none of the Android Wear watches did more than 0.6m; and that Samsung's early lead hasn't translated into, well, anything.

Also: "hearables"?
apple  fitbit  wearables 
august 2015 by charlesarthur
Fitbit advises rash sufferers to take a break from wearable » Re/code
Lauren Goode:
“We continue to be aware of a very limited percentage of users reporting skin irritation among our users,” a Fitbit spokeswoman said in a statement to Re/code, adding that the skin reactions are not uncommon with jewelry or other wearable devices that are pressed against the skin for long periods of time.

“According to our consulting dermatologists, they are likely from wearing the band too tight; sweat, water, or soap being held against the skin under the device; or from pressure or friction against the skin.” The irritation “should resolve quickly when users take a break from the device, usually within hours or days.”


A fitness tracker that you can't wear the track your fitness? Seems like a problem.
fitbit  wearables 
february 2015 by charlesarthur
What my hearing aid taught me about the future of wearables » The Atlantic
Ryan Budish:
despite initial appearances, both medical and consumer wearables share a few important goals.

Broadly speaking, both types of wearables aim to fill gaps in human capacity. As Sara Hendren aptly put it, "all technology is assistive technology." While medical devices fill gaps created by disability or illness, consumer wearables fill gaps created by being human. For example, evolution hasn’t given us brain wi-fi, yet.

Both kinds of wearables also need to justify being attached to our bodies. This seems pretty obvious for hearing aids, but it is just as true for consumer devices. A wearable that serves as only a slightly more convenient screen for your phone is hardly reason for the average person to spend hundreds of dollars. Instead, wearables need to offer a feature that works best when in close contact with your body, like measuring heart rate or offering haptic feedback.

Also, both types of wearables need to embed themselves seamlessly into our experiences. If a wearable obstructs your experience of the real world, or is a distraction, it’s likely to end up on a shelf instead of your wrist.


There are other lessons too.
design  wearables 
february 2015 by charlesarthur

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