Based on what we saw on the 2015 International CES floor, the wellness and fitness category is on the verge of taking off in a big way. Some of these devices are “true” wearables in that they attach onto a body in some way—like a smartwatch, fitness band, eyewear, or a growing array of health and fitness sensor-based devices packaged in a variety of form factors including clothes. There are also other products that are at the edge of wearables, like various types of earphones, sensor-based basketballs and other equipment—and then there were also products that fall into the accessibility category. This related area, with a growing array of products, is also expected to become big business as baby boomers decide to age in their homes rather than being warehoused.
The abundance of all of these types of products on the show floor—and their revenue potential for the channel—is backed by newly released data from CEA. It is projecting that overall wearable unit sales will reach 30.9 million units (a 61 percent increase from last year) and will generate $5.1 billion in revenue in 2015 (a 133 percent increase).
Similarly, CEA expects that—thanks to strong sales for activity-tracking devices—the health and fitness wearables category will post a projected 20 million units to be sold in 2015. Revenues from the subcategory will be more than $1.8 billion. CEA also projects that smartwatches will take off in 2015, selling 10.8 million units (a 359 percent increase) and earning a projected $3.1 billion in revenue (a 474 percent increase over 2014).