Smart devices that link to the handset to carry out specific tasks will become a major new market for hardware manufacturers over the next five years finds a new report by Juniper Research. The report forecasts that sales of app enabled devices will rise sharply to over 100 million units by 2017, from just over 10 million at the end of 2012. Services will range from payment processing to monitoring individuals’ healthcare.
Juniper Research finds that App-enabled devices will create new business processes in several sectors by capitalising upon the smartphone’s strengths- processing power and mobility.
For mobile payments, a smartphone payment reader can challenge more bulky POS devices through a simpler, more user-friendly service proposition. Thus allowing start-ups to take on global players like Verifone.
In healthcare, meanwhile, app-enabled hardware for monitoring glucose levels and other vital signs are putting health decisions in the hands of the individual, thereby helping towards the adoption of mHealth by the medical establishment.
“App-enabled devices are the logical next step for the smartphone ecosystem,” says Anthony Cox at Juniper Research, “and they tend to either fill a gap in the market or improve on what is already there. “
Further findings from the report include:
Fitness smart wireless accessories already have seen substantial take-up following initiatives by global brands such as Nike and smaller start-ups such as Jawbone UP.
Major retailers are allocating shelf-space to smart wireless accessories, particularly in the US.
“Freemium” and SaaS (software as a service) business models will emerge as the market for smart wireless accessories matures.
The report finds that the market is creating opportunities for new-entrants, such as Square and iZettle in the payment market, and established players, such as the sportswear brand Nike, which has developed a range of wearable devices to monitor training sessions for the fitness sector.