Retail professionals are currently predicting that wearable technology will be the hottest selling product of the next few years.
In the third quarter, global shipments of wearable tech products increased from 9 million to 12.7 million units, a 40 percent increase from this time last year. A recent report from Futuresource Consulting found that smartwatches and fitness trackers are the gadgets mainly responsible for this growth.
"We're anticipating further acceleration in the pace of growth in 2015 as smartwatches become more widely adopted, with a 44 percent growth rate driving the market to 74 million units shipped next year," reported Futuresource Market Analyst Oliver Rowntree. "We expect connected watches – incorporating smartwatches and wireless watches – to experience extremely strong growth over the forecast period, reaching 83 million unit shipments in total by 2018."
The fitness sector is also experiencing a boost due to wearable tech, with companies like Fitbit digitally monitoring customers' heart rates, the number of footsteps they take each day and the quality of their REM sleep. Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank recently told Businessweek that he's excited about the potential that wearable tech has in the fitness industry, saying he expects it to develop at an even faster rate than is currently projected.
Many other companies are getting in on the trend, as well. RockMyRun, for instance, is a wristband that offers curated exercise mixes, soon to have an app that will be able to record biometric data such as heart rate and running pace.
Hexoskin takes this concept one step further, providing a biometric workout shirt that measures calories burned, steps taken and breathing rates, all as part of the clothing.
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