Press Release (ePRNews.com) - AL BARSHA, UAE - Nov 29, 2016 - Wearable devices may not quite have exploded onto the scene in the Middle East as projected by some industry quarters but, with time, they have wiggled their way into our day-to-day lives. Fitness trackers and activity monitors, for example, are now de rigueur on wrists, and sporting a smartwatch doesn’t warrant quite as many inquisitive stares as it did some time ago.
The question is, what’s driving this upswing? Is it the technical upgrades being incorporated into these devices? Or is it a gradual shift in perception, with these devices transitioning from luxury add-ons to must-haves?
According to Preston Moxcey, VP at accessories manufacturer Fossil Group and GM of wearables brand Misfit, those factors have certainly played a supporting role in the uptake of wearable devices in the Middle East, but it’s a boost in the aesthetic appeal of these devices that has bolstered their market share.
“There is an increasing appetite in the region for wearable gadgets that rank high in terms of their style quotient. The Middle East has always had an appreciation for chic designs and a penchant for brands with exceptional craftsmanship, and as wearables become more fashion-forward, their market share in the region is growing,” explains Moxcey.
Stylish trackers drive growth
Fitness trackers constitute a substantial portion of the region’s wearables market, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC), which puts the Middle East and Africa’s market for high-tech wearables at 66 per cent growth year-on-year in the second quarter of 2016, with fitness trackers driving the increase.
The future of the region’s wearables market, meanwhile, looks bright too with IDC’s forecast estimating a compound annual growth rate of over 20 per cent in the market from now up until 2020.
The UAE, in particular, represents a strong market for wearable tech. According to Moxcey, “Users in the UAE are quite tech savvy, and take to and interact with new technology comfortably. Additionally, the nation’s consumers are growing increasingly interested in their wellness levels. They are, however, sensitive to the aesthetic appeal of the gadgets they wear or carry on their person, which is why fashion-forward activity and sleep monitors are scoring big.”
He further notes that the market is likely to evolve to embrace other ‘smart’ fashion accessories, given growing user affinity for tech-augmented experiences.
Infusing fashion into technology
Thus far smartphones have been at the centre of connected living. But smartwatches are continuously being enhanced with new features, functions and capabilities, and the ability to display super-relevant ‘glanceable’ data could very well graduate them to the centre of a connected ecosystem.
In line with the global growth of the wearables market, the Fossil Group has launched 100 wearables across eight brands this year. The new products fall under three key segments: activity and sleep trackers, hybrid smartwatches and full-display smartwatches.
Each new Fossil smartwatch mimics a traditional watch model, but is also equipped with smart connectivity technology. The watches’ capabilities include activity tracking, sleep monitoring, Bluetooth wireless compatibility, custom goal setting and filtered notifications with dial animations and vibrations.
“This just marks a start for us in terms of infusing fashion into technology. Initially, the appeal of wearable tech was limited just to tech savvy individuals. But we’re looking to evolve wearables to have mass appeal. The line between fashion and tech is beginning to blur as manufacturers start to fill the gap in the wearables market for technology that is both functional and fashionable,” says Moxcey. Source :