The fu­ture of smart wrist­bands

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By WU YIYAO in Shang­hai

wuyiyao@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Liu Shiyuan al­ready wears three smart wrist­bands, and based on what she found out at the re­cent CES Asia 2016 Shang­hai, it’s likely she’ll soon have to add a few more.

“I have one that keeps track of health data such as heart rate and body temper­a­ture, an­other that is like a blue­tooth tele­phone which is con­nected to my hand­set and the third one is a lo­ca­tion tracker. Can you in­te­grate all these func­tions so that I can save some space on my wrist?” joked Liu to a de­vel­oper at the event.

“No. I be­lieve that wear­able de­vices will only be­come more frag­mented and dif­fer­en­ti­ated in the fu­ture,” replied Wang Yue, a wear­able de­vice de­vel­oper from Shen­zhen.

Liu is not the only con­sumer who is call­ing for greater lev­els of in­te­gra­tion. Oth­ers have said that there are just too many op­tions these days.

“Con­sumers are go­ing to get con­fused with all these choices. Per­haps wear­able de­vices could in the fu­ture be­come some­thing like a smart­phone — a de­vice that you can use to per­form a va­ri­ety of tasks. We don’t want to have to wear mul­ti­ple bands on our wrists,” said Chang Ying, a 29-year-old con­sumer and wrist­band col­lec­tor in Shang­hai.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­search re­port by GfK Re­tail and Tech­nol­ogy China Co Ltd, a mar­ket re­search and con­sul­tancy ser­vices provider, some 31.6 mil­lion pieces of wear­able de­vices are ex­pected to be sold in China in 2016, many of which will fo­cus on spe­cific au­di­ences.

The prod­uct cre­ated by Wang’s com­pany is one ideal ex­am­ple — it specif­i­cally targets fish­ing en­thu­si­asts. The wrist­band comes with a small sonar de­vice that can be placed in the wa­ter to de­tect move­ment, al­low­ing an an­gler to iden­tify the best fish­ing spot.

The GfK re­port also re­vealed that wear­able de­vices tar­get­ing cer­tain con­sumer seg­ments or those that ful­fill par­tic­u­lar func­tions such as pay­ment or health, will be­come a ma­jor cat­e­gory in the mar­ket along­side tra­di­tional smart watches.

The smart rings that can dis­play health sta­tis­tics by Shen­zhen-based Kingee In­tel­li­gent is one de­vice that fits this cat­e­gory. It is tar­geted specif­i­cally at women.

Ex­perts noted that fu­ture gen­er­a­tions of wear­able gad­gets will likely be very so­phis­ti­cated In­ter­net of Things (IoT) de­vices.

“It is likely that in just five years, when the IoT has be­come widely ap­pli­ca­ble, you’ll be re­ceiv­ing a mes­sage on your wear­able de­vice telling you that your toaster is bro­ken,” said Lee S Gill, JDA Global Head, Re­tail and Omni Chan­nel Strat­egy.

“Your de­vice will then au­to­mat­i­cally present you with a list of op­tions: the types of new toast­ers you can buy, the tele­phone num­ber for a re­pair man, or how you can use your 3D printer to print a set of spare parts.”

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Con­sumers can ex­pect to see more wrist­bands in the mar­ket that cater to spe­cific needs.

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