Subscribe Wearables, Usables & Expendables

ABI Research finds that wearables are moving off of the wrist: smart glasses and smart clothing are expected to be the next big things in wearables. These devices show a variety of consumer and enterprise applications, from entertainment to productivity and health applications. Beyond wearables, there are a variety of ‘usables’ emerging, such as Bluetooth-connected devices in the home. These devices solve pain points and can be more portable or personal than typical smart home devices. ‘Expendables’ promise to solve high-value problems where measurement or monitoring can provide value, as cost points and battery life achieve economic needs.

Featured Research

Wearable Device User Interface and User Experience

Wearable devices can vary from simple ones to powerful machines fully integrated to users’ needs. Some are vital signal monitors, while others may have a visual interactive display. The interactions are initiated by contextual data from a device’s sensors or end-user behaviors. As wearables are becoming more capable and powerful, new functionalities, such as smart glasses and VR, will demand novel interface development. Furthermore, as more and more use cases are developed for wearable devices, this will enable wider technology adoption, especially in the enterprise. The choice of User Interface (UI) is determined by the wearable form factors, types, use cases, and the intended applications and environment. A modern UI is a complex piece of software.

Touchscreen UI continues to be dominant interfaces for wearable devices, but its grip on the UI experience will decline over the next few years due to the integration of more sensors into wearables and the miniaturization of wearables. New UIs such as voice, eye-tracking, gesture, proximity sensor, and augmented reality start to become critical for new user experience (UX). This research highlights different physical input methods along with respective opportunities and challenges, user experience and market trends, and consider the impact of the interaction development on emerging and adjacent market applications. It goes into software interface and lists the key players for wearable platforms that affect UI and UX.


Reports & Data


Executive Foresights

Qualcomm's New Snapdragon Wear 3100 Platform Paves the Way for Improved Smartwatches

3Q 2018

For quite some time, Qualcomm has been preparing and developing a new processor for smartwatches that includes a cellular connectivity option, which has now been released. Thus far, Google’s Wear OS smartwatch manufacturers have been using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset, which was released over two years ago in February 2016. In a long-overdue September 2018 event called “It’s time. Set your watches,” Qualcomm finally released its new Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset that comes in three variants targeting smartwatches with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, Global Positional System (GPS), and 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution). The three variants ensure that a complete set of wearable devices can be developed, allowing for greater diversity within the smartwatch market. The Snapdragon Wear 3100 features an ultra-low power hierarchical system that aims to provide enhanced interactivity, new personalized experiences, and improved battery life—and the latter is said to have been extended by 4 to 12 hours (compared to the Snapdragon Wear 2100), depending on the display, battery capacity, and device type. The company has also developed a number of different modes which limit some functions to offer an even longer battery life. The platform can be paired with the Snapdragon X5 LTE modem, allowing it to offer 1 Gigabit per Second (Gbps) peak download speeds.


Samsung and Garmin Wearable Trackers Added to Employee Wellness Platform UnitedHealthcare Motion

4Q 2017

In November 2017, insurance provider UnitedHealthcare announced that it is integrating Samsung and Garmin wearables into its Motion wellness program, which is powered by Qualcomm Life’s medical grade connectivity and secure 2net Mobile Platform. Members of UnitedHealthcare that take part in the Motion program will now be able to use Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro, Samsung Gear Sport, and Garmin vivosmart 3 trackers, in addition to the Fitbit trackers that were added in January 2017. The announcement highlights continuing adoption for wearables in enterprise applications, despite slowing consumer interest.

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Mobile Innovation and Investment: Market Shapers and Those in the Slipstream

The mobile phone industry is on the cusp of an important phase of development as enhanced technologies and innovative user interfaces and experiences seek to breathe new life into the market. In this ‘post-smartphone’ era, the market is braced to provide more immersive touch-less experiences, with many new interfaces developing through artificial intelligence and gesture control. ABI Research has categorized 10 major mobile industry ecosystem companies and value creators based on comparative evaluation and benchmarking of 4 main areas, including patent trends, R&D and acquisitions. This assessment provides an insight into who is best placed to take full advantage of this future paradigm and gain a better understand of which companies are set to lead this next wave of technological transformation.

  • Why is the smartphone market set to go through a transformational change, and what will this change look like?
  • Which companies are set to lead and drive this next wave of technological transformation in the smartphone market?
  • Who is best placed to take full advantage of this future paradigm and why?
  • What are the comparative strengths and weaknesses of 10 of the world’s top value creators?
  • What else can be done to affect this change and what will the future competitive landscape in the smartphone market look like?