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In a recent B2B technology survey of 455 U.S.-based companies in nine vertical markets, ABI Research finds that 55% of respondents see greater use of wearable devices as part of their companies’ technology innovation strategies. Smart glasses are the most popular wearable device among respondents from the manufacturing industry vertical, with 42% stating that the devices are currently in use and a further 54% planning, assessing, or in early investigation.
“Wearable devices are clearly becoming more popular in many organizations, with the manufacturing industry being one of the more aggressive verticals,” says Stephanie Lawrence, Research Analyst at ABI Research. “We expect the manufacturing industry to see high wearable device shipment numbers over the next five years, reaching 32 million shipments in 2022.”
The manufacturing industry shows great interest in wearable devices, as they provide workers with instant access to task information effectively improving employees’ workflows. Smart glasses are the device of choice, with their ability to provide workers hands-free access to information directly in their line of sight.
Smart glasses also provide workers with a communication interface, and allow remote experts to see exactly what the wearer is seeing and provide instructions. This saves travel time and costs, as the remote expert does not need to be physically present on site. Manufacturing organizations expect efficiency enhancements to be the greatest benefit from implementing innovative technologies in the workforce, such as wearables, with 25% of survey respondents ranking it first.
“ABI Research’s recent forecasts reflect our survey results, with manufacturing accounting for the second highest shipment numbers of wearable devices in 2022, and the highest number of smart glass shipments,” concludes Lawrence. “The healthcare industry will see the most wearable shipments within the forecast period, reaching 48 million shipments in 2022; however, it will occupy a much smaller portion of the smart glass market, nearing only three million total in 2022.”