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Enterprise Wearable Market to Soon See Shift from Wrist to Body-Worn Devices

ABI Research Forecasts Body-Worn Wearables Will Exceed 116 Million Shipments in 2021

London, United Kingdom - 09 Jan 2017

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The enterprise wearable market is experiencing a shift from wrist-worn devices to body- and head-worn wearables. ABI Research forecasts enterprise wearable shipments will grow from 30 million shipments in 2016 to nearly 147 million in 2021 with wrist-worn wearable shipments projected to triple by 2021 to reach 30 million. Body-worn devices will surge from 20 million to more than 116 million over the same period.

“The body-worn segment includes smart glasses, VR headsets, hearables, wearable cameras, smart clothing, and mHealth devices,” says Stephanie Lawrence, Research Analyst at ABI Research. “Wrist-worn wearables have been great at collecting data, but their enterprise appeal remains limited relative to the broader opportunity provided by body-worn wearables.”

The most common form of wrist-worn enterprise devices is wearable scanners, which are projected to comprise 73% of devices shipped in this segment by 2021. The body-worn enterprise wearable market, however, will become much more diverse as awareness surrounding the benefits of devices like head-mounted displays continues to increase. These devices in particular allow workers to stay connected and access systems’ information in a hands-free manner.

“Wrist-worn devices will not go away, by any means, but body-worn devices will continue to overshadow their growth,” concludes Lawrence. “Central to enterprise wearables’ move up the adoption curve is the general migration from mobile to more desk-less and dynamic work environments, where companies like Google, Microsoft, ODG, and Vuzix, are heavily invested.”

These findings are part of ABI Research’s Wearable Device Market Share and Forecasts report.