The consumer wearables market is still in its infancy today, but will see "hockey stick" growth over the next five years as the market explodes, according to International Data Corp. Canada (IDC Canada). As tablets and smartphones enter maturity, wearables represent the new, hot growth category.
"Wearables represent a young but exciting category in Canada – one expected to be valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars in just a few short years as we begin to reimagine everything we put on ourselves. However, as this is such a new market, we have a lot to learn," says Krista Napier, Research Manager, Mobility and Consumer Research at IDC Canada.

The IDC study, Canadian Consumer Wearables 2014-2018 Forecast, offers a 2014-2018 wearables device forecast for the Canadian consumer market. In particular, the study sizes three categories of wearables: complex accessories, smart accessories, and smart wearables.

The study answers the questions:

How big is the wearables' forecast today, and how big will it become, both in shipments and revenue?
What are the market forces that will drive this market forward and/or inhibit its growth?
What do Canadians think about wearables today?

Additional key study findings include:

All wearables are not equal. Fitness trackers have already seen some healthy early adoption thanks to their price and clear value proposition, but other wearables still need refinement with respect to battery life, price points and perceived security and privacy.

Canadians are interested in wearables, but they have not reached mass market yet. In an IDC survey, 18% of respondents were interested in wearables that would track their health/performance while exercising, and 10% were interested in digital glasses. While these results are encouraging, it demonstrates the need for these devices to show clear purpose. Canadians must see them as more than novel devices that lose their luster after a few weeks or months, and they must be viewed as doing more than what their phones or MP3 players can already do "good enough."

Technology moves fast, but fashion moves faster.These wearables need to look just as good as the stylish jewelry, jeans, and shoes users wear. Customers may be willing to put up with a limited selection of colours and styles when it comes to their phones and tablets that they carry around in their pockets and purses, but that won't be the case with devices they actually wear.

"Wearables are at the intersection of fashion and technology; they must add value and be perceived as seamless, simple, and secure but cannot do so at the cost of looking good."