ABI Research: enterprise wearables market to reach US$18 billion by 2019
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ABI Research: enterprise wearables market to reach US$18 billion by 2019

Growing at a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] value of 56.1% over the next five years, wearable device technologies will become an integral part of enterprise mobile enablement strategies.

As expected, the North American region will be the largest and grow at a CAGR value of 39% over the next five years. More interestingly, the Asia-Pacific region will become the second largest market outpacing Europe by 2019 with a CAGR of 90%.

"There are cases being made for wearables in the enterprise despite the relative newness of the technology," says ABI Research Senior Enterprise Analyst Jason McNicol. "However, which wearables are primed for enterprise usage and adoption is a more important question. Wearable technology such as smart glasses and those used for healthcare are better suited for the enterprise as corporate-liable devices. Smart watches, on the other hand, will most likely follow the trend of BYOD into the enterprise.”

ABI Research has identified six kinds of wearable devices: smart glasses, cameras, smart watches, healthcare, sports and activity trackers, and 3D motion trackers. Healthcare wearables, smart glasses, and smart watches will be the dominant form-factors purchased by the enterprise and used by employees.

"Companies like Vuzix, in partnership with SAP, and Google Glass Explorers are testing the boundaries and capabilities of smart glass technologies for the enterprise," says McNicol. "Smart watch OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] Samsung, LG, Sony, and Google are also trying to position their products for the enterprise. Lastly, healthcare OEMs FitLinxx, BodyMedia, and FitBit are getting involved through corporate wellness programs. Once these companies convince enterprise customers of the added value from wearables, the market will see incredible growth."

ABI Research Practice Director Dan Shey adds: "Like any digital device supporting the enterprise, wearables will need to be secured and managed. Wearable use cases in field services, maintenance, training, etc., highlight the need for enterprise mobility management providers, mobile operators, enterprise application and platform vendors, system integrators, device OEMs and other enterprise mobile suppliers to add services to support wearables. Enterprise connectivity continues at a rapid pace and its benefits are only achieved when end-to-end solutions – including security and management services – support the devices and connections."

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