Wearable technology: growth opportunities after the hype

1st March 2018
Lanna Cooper


The IDTechEx Wearable Europe conference and exhibition, to be held on 11th-12th April in Berlin Germany, will bring together the ecosystem global brands with technology developers, focusing on the commercial growth opportunities for wearable technology.

In recent years wearable technology has created billion dollar markets, both in consumer products (such as smartwatches) and in medical devices (such as for Mobile Cardiac Telemetry (MCT)).

However, there have also been failures and unmet expectations. While the wave of hype has all but passed in 2018, companies are focusing on differentiated products enabled by new technologies in targeted application areas in a sector that is growing by 18% CAGR through to 2022.

With over 200 exhibiting companies and 2,500 attendees, the event for the entire wearable technology industry, Wearable Europe, showcases the global growth opportunities and the underlying needs, ecosystem and enabling technologies.

Healthcare applications are one focus of the event, with speakers from giant global companies including GSK, Sanofi, GE Healthcare, Siemens, Qualcomm, Galvani Bioelectronics, Johnson & Johnson, L’oreal and more presenting on their latest work, unmet needs and outlook for the industry.

Augmented, virtual and mixed reality devices are redefining the boundaries between the real and digital worlds. As established hardware platforms reach more content producers, we are now seeing waves of new content in sectors such as in gaming, training, healthcare and many more.

Wearable Europe approaches this topic by looking at the emerging hardware options that will enable the AR, VR and MR devices of the future. This includes advances in microdisplays and optics, next generation user interfaces (including haptics, voice control, gesture recognition, etc.), energy storage options and structural electronic components.

Flexible and stretchable electronics, ranging from sensors to batteries to displays are extensively covered, alongside the entire value chain for e-textiles. Suppliers for key materials such as conductive inks, yarns and cabling, equipment manufacturers, specialist e-textiles product integrators and some of the emerging brands are all present throughout the exhibition and conference.

As electronics become flexible, stretchable, conformal and comfortable, it has never been easier to wear technology to achieve maximum value with minimal encumbrance.

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