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‘Opportunites to boost revenues through wearables have never been greater’

James Pearce
November 23, 2015

Exertis claims sales of wearable products have grown seven-fold compared to the previous year

The opportunities for the UK market to boost revenues through wearables continue to rocket, with Exertis claiming sales are now seven times higher than a year ago – up 150 per cent year-on-year.

According to figures, the value of the wearables market in the UK increased by 180 per cent in 2014 to £515 million  and is expected to top £1 billion by the end of this year.  In 2016 some forecasters have tipped that UK figure to more than treble to £3.5 billion and to £16 billion globally by 2019.

The rise in demand and opportunities in the market were illustrated clearly by Exertis smart technology business manager Rod Slater who was speaking at the sold-out Mobile News ‘Beyond Mobile – Wearables and Accessories’ conference in London last week.

Slater told the 120 strong audience that demand was growing exponentially thanks, in part, to an increasing number of available products, brands, and evolutions in technologies.

“The current crop of smart wearable devices is starting to get very interesting,” said Slater.

“New capabilities open up new markets and channels, and the more compelling the functionality, the more customers will purchase them for their convenience. The more reasons specialist markets will have to find ways to incorporate into their products.

“As a larger percentage of the population begins to use smart wearable technology, the more reasons manufacturers will find to look for channels for these products to be sold. We’re seeing very strong growth and this is set to accelerate further as prices reduce and the number of compelling applications continue to increase.”

Dedicated staff
Exertis is one of the leading UK distributors in the wearables space, investing heavily in for more than three-years and has amassed a team of more than 20 dedicated staff. It offers products from brands including ASUS, LG, Sony, Samsung and Jawbone.

Whilst awareness and sales continue to rise, Slater believes the market is still very much in its infancy regarding the technologies and potential uses.

He claims the current crop of Bluetooth and WiFi-enabled wearables is just the first small step in creating a connected world and the inclusion of 4G connectivity will generate wider adoption.

Mass market appeal
He noted the LG Watch Urbane 4G and the Samsung Galaxy Gear S2, which come with in-built network connectivity, as standout devices that do not need a smartphone, unlike other wearables which become “just an accessory”.

“Smartphones are already high functioning, sensor-laden computing platforms and this functionality has already been augmented by wearable technology that will continue to evolve with more capabilities,” he explained.

“In order to do so we need to see some changes in the device themselves. The current crop of Bluetooth and WiFi devices should only be seen as an initial step in creating the connected wearable device everybody will own.

“The functionality of wearables becomes limited by Bluetooth and the reliance on smartphones. The real value of wearable devices becomes deliverable and the applications compelling once that device becomes truly connected.”

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