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Wearable product plays a key role in IoT

Just as its name implies, Internet of Things (IoT), is a kind of Internet among connected things. This can be interpreted by breaking it down into two parts. The first is ‘Internet’. In other words, the Internet is still the core and foundation of IoT, which is effectively an extension and expansion of the Internet. The second is ‘things’. Many companies have extended and expanded their devices and networks to allow for information exchange and communication, i.e. the interconnection of things. In short, ‘things’ means interconnection among hardware, software, data and services.

IoT covers a wide range of applications, the majority of which are in the consumer and industrial sectors. Smart home, smart energy, smart cars, smart grid, smart lighting, smart health and smart wearable are all specific forms of IoT. It is argued that everything can be connected and smart (the so-called ‘anything and everything’.)

As we all know, IoT is about the interconnection of things, where things are the centers of connection. However, you may not know that interconnection is designed to be smarter, since cloud allows for data storage, analysis and control. Being smarter implies that technology can change our lives and improve our quality of life. In the final analysis, IoT is still people-oriented.

How do modern people rely on their mobile phones? Just count the times you pick up your mobile phone every day. According to some data from Apple, you may view your mobile phone 80 times a day via TouchID fingerprint reader or password. And yet other users view their phones almost twice as often. Leading mobile phone manufacturers published some figures at Mobile World Congress (MWC), showing that Android-based mobile phone users light up their phone screens nearly 150 times a day on average. Take smart watches for example. Watches could only be used to tell the time in the past. However, a smart watch can inform you what you need to do now. The simple call/message reminder can help us avoid viewing our phones frequently. All programmers know that excessive viewing of the device leads to inefficiency and consumes too much CPU resources. Ideally, CPU responds appropriately and immediately to each viewing, maximizing efficiency while minimizing CPU resource consumption.

 

Some argue that IoT is a general concept. It covers a broad subject matter and has given rise to a wide range of different forms at various stages of its evolution. At this point in time, it is presented as smart wearable, smart home and smart cars. But I think smart wearable will become increasingly popular and dependable with comprehensive and in-depth development of IoT as wearable products represent the most direct carrier in terms of how IoT changes people’s lives Wearable products place electronic devices closer to the body to monitor various parameters such as temperature, movement, sleep, heart rate and pulse. They can also be the extension of smartphones on the body via BLE or WiFi, as is the case with smart bands and watches.

 


Source: Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research, 2015

 

According to some recent articles, we are entering a new era, namely the third wave driven by information technology. Looking back, the first wave happened from the 1960s to the 70s, with the arrival of computer-aided automation. The second wave was the Internet-driven transformation. What of the third wave? It is IoT, i.e. an innovative era with intelligent interconnection. Compared to the previous two waves, IoT is the biggest wave that will bring about more changes, higher productivity and even greater economic growth. Does it mean that smart wearable, which is directly associated with people, will rapidly evolve during the wave of people-focused IoT? Just as scientists predicted many years ago, doctors can make a prescription after the patient digitally transmits his or her physical data, collected by sensors, from the home to the hospital.

Collectively, smart wearable products have been called the first wave of IoT. In turn, the growth of IoT can improve the wearable ecosystem and extend the functionality of wearable products. Cloud services help manage and analyze personal data that is acquired by wearable products, improving the quality of life and the user experience. For example, Fibit’s band products can be connected to cloud, and offer cloud services.

According to the findings of International Data Corporation (IDC), a market research firm, on June 16, 2016, the shipment of global wearable products is expected to reach 101.9 million at the end of 2016, up 29.0% over the previous year. The Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) will have reached 20.3% by 2020, when the shipment will be 213.6 million.

In addition, IDC compared the prediction for 2016 and 2020 with the facts in 2015 depending on the shipment and market share of different wearable products.

 

Although there are still some problems with the current wearable products, such as the life of their batteries, insufficient accuracy of MEMS Sensor (which can only be used for health but not for medical treatment), poor loyalty and only little differentiation among different products, I believe the wearables market will witness a substantial leap forward in the future as awareness grows, demand increases and the segment matures. Many of the current problems can be solved as technology advances. Features will also be improved through continuous innovation. For example, the earlier smart bands and watches just offered step counting and sleep monitoring features. Later on they began to support static and dynamic heart rate monitoring. Then, NFC-driven payment caught wide attention. Wearable products are not limited to business or stylish people. Segments such as children, the elderly, women and sports will mature. Improvements like voice interaction between Google Android Wear and Apple Siri will make wearable products more user-friendly and smarter. If some small and medium businesses are still hesitating or only dispatching some stragglers to explore the wearables market during this wave of IoT, many giants (including Apple, Sony, Samsung and Huawei) have sent in their troops. They have introduced generations of products to lead the market in this current wave of technical development.

If some small and medium businesses are still hesitating or only dispatching some stragglers to explore the wearables market during this wave of IoT, many giants (including Apple, Sony, Samsung and Huawei) have sent in their troops. They have introduced generations of products to lead the market in this current wave of technical development.

As a globally leading distributor of electronic components, Avnet is well positioned to play multiple roles including chip provider, solution provider, smart hardware providers, cloud service provider and end customers, to integrate a variety of resources and create a complete wearable ecosystem. Avnet Design Services provide various reference designs for wearable products and provide hardware/software technology support for customers to help them reduce time to market.

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