​Juniper report skeptical on smart clothing but says fitness trackers are set to soar

Fitness trackers to rule the roost for the forseeable
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A new report on fitness wearables has revealed that the future looks bright for connected sports devices such as trackers and GPS watches – but doesn't expect smart garments to take hold before 2020.

The report by Juniper Research expects the fitness wearables sector to grow to $10 billion by 2020 up from $3.3 billion in 2015. However, despite the growth, the report cools expectations around the rise of smart garments.

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Growth will be "largely driven by the sales of wrist-based trackers, while hundreds of thousands of connected garments used by professional sports teams showcase wearable technology's most advanced capabilities."

Hundreds of thousands of thousands of connected garments is hardly a drop in the ocean compared to the millions of Fitbits, Xiaomis, Apple Watches, Jawbones and other devices which will be coining in the revenue by 2020. What's more, Juniper acknowledges that smart clothing will still be limited to professional sports.

The figures are starkly different to a 2014 report by Gartner that anticipated the smart garment sector to ship 26 million products, which would eclipse both fitness trackers and sports watches.

However, last year's Gartner report and this year's Juniper do agree on something: that convergence into smartwatches and new devices will change the landscape of fitness tech over the next few years.

"The increasing prevalence of multifunctional wearables in the coming years means device prices will rise across many developed markets in 2016, and in some cases for longer, although we expect unit prices to eventually decline," says the report.

What do you think about the future of connected clothing? Let us know over at the Wareable Forum.

​Juniper report skeptical on smart clothing but says fitness trackers are set to soar

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James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and T3.com and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

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