One of the most popular categories in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping bonanzas barely existed a few years ago: wearables.
The wearables market is led by Apple's iWatch and fitness trackers by the likes of Garmin and Fitbit, the latter of which is subject to a $2.1 billion takeover bid by Google. The size of the market is expected to more than double over the next four years according to figures from Gartner. It is no surprise, then, that many tech analysts expect Amazon to be preparing for a major push into the segment.
These devices can be used for much more than just checking the pace of your 5k run. They are increasingly becoming a fixture of the digital health movement, an aid that could help monitor heart rates, remind users when to take medicine and even alert emergency services when a fall is detected.
But it has been found that the light sensors in many of these devices have not been able to detect the heart rates of some users with darker skin tones or wrist tattoos. This is a consequence of restrictive clinical trials and raises questions about how these products are tested.
Wearables may become an increasingly common feature of our daily lives, but more work must be done to make them desirable, and indeed useful, for all.
Consumer Edge is a weekly collection of critical developments across the automotive; retail; and food, beverage, and tobacco industries. Drawing on exclusive analysis and value-added content from the Consumer News team at S&P Global Market Intelligence, it is published every Thursday. Click here to subscribe.
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