• Saturday, May 25, 2024
businessday logo


Phone makers promote wearable technology as demand rises

As the new wearable device technology fad spreads to Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, phone manufacturers are currently promoting their electronic accessories, smart watches, glasses, and fitness bands, with a view to further garnering market share and improve revenues.

Market observers are of the view that demand is rising as smartphone integration, increasing convergence of functionality and design have indeed led to the rising number of wearable technology products.

According to Technology Distribution (TD), over 10 million smart devices worth $1 billion (N167 billion) were sold in Nigeria in 2013. Market observers are, however, of the view that the next wave of hardware innovation in the mobile industry is wearable technology.

Deliotte, a research company, has predicted that smart glasses, fitness bands and watches would sell about 10 million units in 2014, generating some $3 billion.

Industry heavyweights and electronics giants such as Google, Samsung, Huawei, Nokia, Sony, already see this enormous revenue potential, with many of them pushing out more wearable devices into the country, alongside smaller boutique manufacturers entering the space, as they seek to garner more market share and revenue, in an evolving mobile industry.

Paul Lee, director, global research lead, TMT, Deliotte, is, however, optimistic about the rise of wearable devices and their impact on the global technology industry.

“Consider that in 2014, billions of us will glance through trillions of times at connected screens, from vast digital billboards to computer screens, and from car dashboards to smartphones. The addition of a tiny screen which is permanently in line-of-sight will complement the array of screens we already use: it may enable some of us to stay permanently updated with flows of information we crave”, said Lee, in an interview with BusinessDay.

Market observers say the battle for space on people’s body is really under way, as Nigerian customers are already excited about these new gizmos that come with a wide range of changeable straps and interface themes. Wearable technology is not an isolated phenomenon, but part of the larger wave of the ‘Internet of Things’, with a potential economic impact of up to $6.2 trillion annually by 2025, according to analysts at research company, McKinsey.

“For wearables to be successful, they need to add to the user experience by complementing and enhancing what other devices already offer.”