Sports, fitness monitors expected to be $2.8 billion market in 2019

IHS Technology projects that sports, fitness and activity monitors will be a strong market and up 22 percent in 2014. Will smartwatches and smartphones derail that growth?
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

One of the more proven sectors of the wearable technology industry---sports, fitness and activity monitors---is expected to be a $2.8 billion market by 2019, up from $1.9 billion in 2013, according to IHS Technology.

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IHS is projecting revenue for fitness and sports monitors to jump 22 percent in 2014 to $2.2 billion.

Meanwhile, the installed base for monitors will grow to 120 million units in 2019, up from 84 million in 2013.


What remains to be seen is whether smartwatches and smartphones encroach on the health monitoring trend. For instance, Samsung's smartwatches are increasingly trying to monitor heart rates. Most devices also track steps.

However, people who run regularly want to track pace, cadence and other metrics so they'll gravitate to GPS devices made by Garmin, TomTom, Suunto and Polar. IHS is also including cycling computers and pedometers in its revenue calculation.

Add it up and the sports, activity and fitness market is likely to remain a bit niche and targeted to athletes. To hit hockey stick growth, monitor and tracking companies are going to have to appeal to the masses with their devices. In many ways, these wearable companies are going to have to mimic the approach of Under Armour, which started out making performance gear for athletes, and now is often worn by people who get winded walking the mall.


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