In the past two years, there has been a boom in wearable device adoption — but growth will slow. Instead of the anticipated adoption explosion that many tech enthusiasts dreamed of, Forrester predicts that US consumer wearables spending will roughly double in the next five years. The main reasons for consolidation are that:

  • Fitness activity tracker bands will be cannibalized. Fitness tracker bands currently dominate the market but will diminish in utility over time. They currently face a high abandonment rate because repeated measurement information becomes less useful unless the data they output is more prescriptive, rather than descriptive.
  • Smartwatches will largely drive the future of wearables spending. More sophisticated wearable technologies, such as smartwatches with fitness tracking features, will partially cannibalize standalone tracker bands as the price gap between these devices narrows.  As vendors begin to pair devices with more tactical applications, smartwatches will drive further wearable adoption.

Forrester's ForecastView team recently published a market sizing study on the US consumer wearables market where we investigate device adoption, unit sales, and sales revenue trends by device types. We define wearable technology as electronic devices, capable of storing and processing data, that are:

  • Sensor-laden and Internet-connected. These devices provide physical, contextual information.
  • Worn on the body. They are not implanted or medically prescribed devices.
  • Compatible with a phone, but not a phone. The devices are dependent on compatibility but independent; they can operate as standalone. They are either extensions of a mobile phone or companion devices without a lot of processing power on their own.

Come join our upcoming ForecastView Webinar on April 27: "Wearables — A New Era Of Mobile Innovation?" Through a powerful blend of ForecastView and Forrester’s Consumer Technographics 360 data, we will discuss how consumers perceive wearable technology, where adoption is headed in the next five years, and what drivers are changing the product mix and why.

If you are interested in learning more about the US consumer wearables forecast, contact us at