Technology Brief: Wearable Tech Products are Becoming One of the Fastest Advancing Sectors
Wearable, smart technology is quickly becoming one of the most essential and fastest-advancing sectors of the wider technology industry, now even outpacing the development of smartphones. From the basic fitness trackers and highly-advanced sports and smartwatches, to virtual and augmented reality headsets, wearables are everywhere. Wearables have become increasingly popular over the past few years, but the basic idea is nothing new. For example, if you’ve ever worn a wristwatch, you’ve already used a simple kind of wearable. Today’s wearables can actually connect with your existing devices, like computers and smartphones, which means they can do a lot of interesting things. Industry projections uniformly see continued growth in the sector for the next several years. Active companies in the markets this week include Vuzix® Corporation (NASDAQ: VUZI), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL), Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP).
Research by MarketsAndMarkets said that the overall wearable technology market was valued at USD 15.74 billion in 2015 and is expected to reach USD 51.60 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 15.51%. Grand View Research said that the global wearable technology market size was valued at USD 32.63 billion in 2019 and is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.9% from 2020 to 2027. Grand View said that the growing popularity of the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected devices and rising technically sound population is expected to drive the demand. Its report said: “Moreover, increasing social awareness and various benefits of wearable electronics is anticipated to drive demand over the forecast period. Increasing disposable income and smartphone penetration is expected to boost industry growth in the forthcoming years. A high degree of research and development by the market players is expected to enhance technology over the next seven years.”
Vuzix® Corporation (NASDAQ: VUZI) BREAKING NEWS: Vuzix Releases Details of its Next Generation Smart Glasses Powered by Micro-LED and Other Advanced Technologies – Vuzix®, a leading supplier of Smart Glasses and Augmented Reality (AR) technology and products, today announced the Company is developing next generation product line of smart glasses powered by micro-LED technology that are expected to become available in 2021.
The next generation line of micro-LED powered smart glasses from Vuzix will range from a reasonably priced consumer-facing product to a higher end enterprise version with built-in cellular connectivity. The next generation Vuzix Smart Glasses will feature a larger field of view (FOV), advanced waveguide optics and binocular displays, including 3D, alongside Vuzix’ patent pending immersive stereo acoustic speakers ideal for privacy, performance and style. The noise-cancelling microphones will enable quality phone calls and voice/UI integration between the user and their phone. These stylish glasses are designed to be as small and as comfortable as possible, include dual batteries in the temples, and require no wires to operate. In addition to WiFi and Bluetooth, there will be a cellular LTE integration option, so a phone will not be required for hands communications and connectivity in most developed areas. All powered by a modern CPU running Android with support for third party applications.
“Vuzix has been working on wearable display technology for the last 20 years and we are excited to announce this culmination of breakthroughs in the development of our technology that opens the door for a new wave of consumer and enterprise smart glasses devices from Vuzix. A balance of technology, style and substance is embodied in the industrial design and specifications of our next generation smart glasses,” said Paul Travers, President and Chief Executive Officer at Vuzix.
A more detailed overview of the smart glasses can be found on Vuzix’ new technology page here. To stay informed about additional information as it becomes available over of the coming months, please register by completing the form on that website page. Read this entire release and more news for Vuzix® at: https://www.financialnewsmedia.com/news-vuzi/
Additional recent developments include:
According to 9to5mac.com, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) continues to see industry-leading growth in the wearables business, thanks in large part to the continued success of its so-called “Hearables” products. According to new data from IDC, Apple shipped 23.7 million AirPods and Beats products during the second quarter of 2020.
IDC estimates that Apple shipped 29.4 million wearables total during Q2 2020, combining the Hearables category with the Apple Watch. This is up from 23.5 million units during Q2 2019, an increase of over 25% for the quarter. In total, Apple now holds a 34.2% share of the Wearables market, up from the 31.1% it held in the year-ago quarter.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) wearable developments: Since its launch in November 2019, Microsoft HoloLens 2 has helped enterprises in manufacturing, construction, healthcare, and retail onboard employees more quickly, complete tasks faster, and greatly reduce errors and waste. It sets the high-water mark for intelligent edge devices by leveraging a multitude of sensors and a dedicated ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit) to allow multiple real-time computer vision workloads to run continuously. In Research Mode, HoloLens 2 is also a potent computer vision research device. (Note: Research Mode is available today to Windows Insiders and soon in an upcoming release of Windows 10 for HoloLens.)
Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Alphabet’s Loon and Vodacom have recently signed a deal to use Loon’s balloon-powered internet solution to expand the Vodacom network in Mozambique. In terms of the agreement, Loon will help Vodacom provide service to un-served and under-served parts of the country with a network of floating cell phone towers that operate 20 kilometres above Earth.
Using the Loon solution, Vodacom will expand mobile network access to Cabo Delgado and Niassa provinces, two regions that have proven hard to cover in the past due to the vast and logistically challenging geographical areas, together with low population density. The Loon solution will provide a 4G service that supports Data, Voice, SMS and USSD, which will also enable mobile financial services.
The service will be available to any Vodacom subscriber with a standard 4G-VoLTE enabled handset and SIM card. Users will not need to do anything special to connect to the service; they will connect just as they would to a normal cell tower. In fact, it’s unlikely that a user will know that they are connected to the service provided by a high altitude balloon, except for the fact that they may have a signal in a location where it previously did not exist.
Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) recently announced financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2020. Financial Highlights were: Operating cash flow improved by $29 million to $(67) million in Q2 2020, compared to the prior year; Free Cash Flow improved by $21 million to $(82) million in Q2 2020, compared to the prior year; Common shares outstanding plus shares underlying stock-based awards totaled 1,616 million at June 30, 2020, compared to 1,553 million one year ago; Revenue increased 17% to $454 million in Q2 2020, compared to the prior year; Net loss was $(326) million in Q2 2020, compared to $(255) million in the prior year; and Adjusted EBITDA was $(96) million in Q2 2020, compared to $(79) million in the prior year.
“We continued to grow our community and business in a challenging and uncertain environment,” said Evan Spiegel, CEO. “I am proud of our team for innovating on new experiences for our community and driving value for our partners, demonstrating the importance of our service in people’s lives. We are grateful that the resilience of our business has allowed us to remain focused on our future growth and opportunity.”