Last year, the market for sports and health mobile applications was $120 million. Over the next 4 years it is expected to increase by close to $100million each year. Pushing that growth will be wearable devices and mobile devices. There will be a synergy between them. As technology improves, so will accuracy and functionality.
We will learn things over the next four years that are not known now, and those things will start to appear in our mobile devices.
Sports and fitness applications for mobile handset should give us new ways to access and support healthcare applications. Analysts expect that these new types of apps for both sports and fitness will dominate the mobile health application market.
For young and old, the nexus between healthcare, mobiles and wearable technology will build new industries, including home monitoring systems for seniors or and personal emergency response systems.
“Downloadable apps are moving the sports tracking device market from proprietary devices to mobile phones, but adoption has been limited by the data they can collect. However, with the connectivity that Bluetooth Smart will embed in mobile handsets, wearable devices will bring greater detail to mobile handsets,” says Jonathan Collins, principal analyst.
As more wearables enter the market, and they advance in capability, they will need to communicate with the cloud. Until the technology can be made small enough to fit within the wearables, they will communicate through mobile devices, so connectivity methods will be important.
Some existing products already use bluetooth connectivity. The problem with bluetooth is its heavy drain on batteries. We note that some manufacturers, such as Garmin, build the communication technology into their devices, but that makes the devices larger and more proprietary.
There are expected to be many new startups. Those startups will probably not build in their own communication channels, because it would make their devices larger, more complex and more expensive. They are likely to choose the path of mobile connectivity.
“As applications increasingly become part of a bundle that ships with wearable devices, revenues from mobile applications will lag behind the growth in app downloads. Mobile application downloads will actually grow at nearly twice the rate of revenues between 2010 and 2016, with more than a billion downloads annually by 2016,” Jonathan Collins said.