2016 is fast approaching and Wearable technology is not staying constant either so the question that many are asking on is what do we expect next year. After studying market, we came up with 13 things to expect in wearable industry particularly for sports.

Companies and Startups:

  • Winners and Losers: In 2016, we would expect to see clear winners and looser. The winners will get more growth, market reputation and investments with losers dying off from the market.
  • Mergers and Acquisitions: With losers and winners identified, we would expect mergers and acquisitions between various startups but we would expect to see billion dollar acquisitions anytime soon
  • Bigger Player entering market: We do expect bigger players like Google and Apple trying their luck in the sports wearable market. With growing interest and market, we don’t expect big brands to stay quiet on this front. We have already seen companies like Intel teaming up with Tag Heuer so expect sports companies like Nike and Adidas to work in partnerships with tech companies like Intel. We would not be surprised if they end up buying or investing in startups and putting their weight behind it. Also, we expect famous sporting personalities like David Beckham or Kobe Bryant to launch his wearable brand or be an ambassador for any existing product.
  • Startups and Kickstarter/Indiegogo to slow down: Kick starters and Indiegogo have seen steady growth of projects related to sports wearable but as the wearable market get stable, the new ideas would be limited thus projects will be less and with low chances of success in crowdfunding unless someone comes up with a brilliant idea.

Sensors and Wearable hardware

  • More sensors and accuracy: Humidity sensor or perhaps something crazy like blood flow sensor  and ear/tongue sensor are already there or insight but not yet integrated in wearable technology. We expect all and all full integration next year with existing wearable devices.
  • Flexible sensors: We stretch sensors and increasing demand of wearable/smart clothing, we expect technology to look at flexible/fabric based sensors
  • Purpose built wearable: We know, not everyone is same so when it comes to wearable, why have the same wearable? With fitness of players a big concern, we would expect tailor built wearable for sports players either result based on style based.
  • Fashion connects with Sports: We would see a use of wearable as a fashion trend and perhaps big fashion brands may start targeting this industry as well. The use of jewelry to track fitness data will also gain momentum.
  • Sports Healthcare: Currently, the use of wearable in healthcare is separate to sports but with more players using wearable and clubs are teams are concerned about player fitness, we would see the healthcare system integrating to wearable to help detect fatigue level of players and give insights into data like fitness increment by medication over period of time.
  • Broadcasting: Can wearable broadcast data to TV screens to give better insight to television viewers on what is going on players mind? We have discussed it here already and we expect some traction in this area in 2016.

Legal

  • Ownership and Privacy: Is data owned by players or clubs? We have already discussed it here and we expect to see clarify on ownership of data and privacy.
  • Industry standards: With FIFA leading the effort here, we expect sports governing like WWF, NFL and NBA to focus on standardization of tacking mechanism. This would help smaller clubs to compete fairly with big players and perhaps as mentioned mergers and acquisitions as well.
  • Sports Science: From just being a data scientist, we expect individuals to get better on specific industries and sports science to be one of them. No longer would sporting bodies and clubs want data scientists, perhaps they would be keen to hire data scientist with expertise in sports A.K.A. sports science to help them excel.

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