The global wearable temperature sensors market size was valued at USD 32 million in 2021. It is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 90 million by 2030, registering a CAGR of 12.2% during the forecast period (2022-2030). Wearable temperature sensors use a variety of nanomaterials, including conductive polymers, graphene, CNTs, nickel, silver, and copper metal nanoparticles, and nanowires as thermal sensing elements. Wearable temperature sensors are expected to grow in popularity due to the rapidly expanding smart home trend and the rise of connected gadgets. These wearable temperature sensors can continuously monitor various health factors, including heart rate, body temperature, and pulse rate. Wearable temperature sensors have become more popular as individuals of all ages have become more conscious of their fitness and health. Moreover, the advent of new and advanced wearable devices that include smarter, smaller, and low-cost sensors, coupled with the rising adoption of AI along with IoT, is further anticipated to ensure the growth of the wearable global market, which in turn, is expected to create a positive impact on the market for wearable temperature sensors over the forecast period.
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Increasing Health Awareness among all Age Groups
Increasingly a large of millennials and Gen Z are spending on their health and fitness; according to a study by CompareCards in February 2020, about 38% of millennials and 41% of the Gen Z population have had or are currently dealing with credit card debt due to fitness-related expenses. With the growing spending on health and fitness, the demand for health tracking devices is gaining traction among younger generations.
The use of smartwatches as a fitness tracker and to monitor vitals is gaining momentum among the population. According to a study by Attest in 2019, the share of millennials and Gen Z who own a smartwatch/health-tracker computing device in the United Kingdom was the highest, with 37.6% and 32.7%, respectively, among the 1,000 respondents of the study. A significant share of the spending on health and fitness is going toward buying gadgets that aid in monitoring and recording health updates regularly. According to the CompareCards study in February 2020, 33% of Americans make fitness-related purchases, and the average monthly cost is USD 124.40. With growing health consciousness and spending, the demand for fitness trackers and smartwatches is expected to be augmented over the coming years, thus, positively impacting the market for temperature sensors.
Increasing Growth of Advanced Functions Sensors in Smart Gadgets
With the growing miniaturization of sensors and related components, the growth toward the advanced function sensors in smart wearables, improvement in the battery sizes, and efficiency are the key drivers boosting the wearable temperature sensors market. Owing to this, vendors in the market are increasingly innovating their offerings by including a higher number of features. For instance, advanced smart watches help monitor stress in wearers. Mi's Smart Band 5 comes with the latest update, v188.8.131.52, and brings two significant features, which include 24-hour sleep monitoring and features 11 fitness tracking modes, along with a tracking facility for menstrual cycles.
Vendors in the market are increasingly opting for new and improved solutions that help enhance the user experience. For instance, in May 2020, Google patented a gesture control system for smartwatches. Such innovations and device improvements are expected to fuel the growth in demand. Similarly, the growing innovations and feature enhancements in smart wearables and other devices are expected to positively impact the market for wearable temperature sensors.
High Product Cost
With consumers' growing propensity toward smart wearables, the prices of devices are also soaring along with the growing cost of components, limiting adoption in the market. Smartwatches and fitness trackers have low-cost segments that drive significant attention from consumers. However, with the proliferation of technology, other devices such as footwear, eyewear, and body wear products are highly priced and have lower adoption rates.
Moreover, Apple commands the dominant share of the smartwatch segment in the industry, and its products are priced on the higher end, limiting its market presence and enabling Android-based solutions to gain traction. Similarly, the other wearable technologies are currently highly-priced, which is negatively impacting adoption in the market.
Increasing Research and Development
New sensors are following the trend of miniaturization. Temperature sensors are proliferating across countless applications, and many of those applications require multiple sensors in a small footprint with no effect on performance and low power requirements. To fulfill these requirements, many researchers are in the developing phase of the technology. For instance, engineering researchers at the University of Toronto have developed a transparent, stretchable, flexible, and self-powering sensor to measure temperature and other complex sensations of the human skin. It is called an AISkin, which can be put on the skin without any toxic effect. It measures changes in temperature by generating controlled ion movements through changes in temperature. These ion movements can be measured as electrical signals, such as current or voltage.
Similarly, Near field communication (NFC) is an emerging technology in healthcare sensors. NFC-based sensing technology is still in its infancy. This technology is increasingly being explored by the academic community, with a focus on applications of healthcare. Such technological developments provide lucrative market opportunities.
The global wearable temperature sensors market is segmented by application, end user vertical, and region.
By application, the global wearable temperature sensors market is segmented into body wear, eyewear, footwear, wrist wear, and other applications. The wristwear segment accounted for the largest market share during the forecast period. Wristwear wearables include the likes of fitness trackers and smartwatches. In the earlier lines of wristwear, body temperature sensors were not that common because the device needed closer, constant contact with the skin for accurate and fast temperature measuring. Conduction is the efficient heat transfer mechanism here, not convection or radiation. Other than that, environmental factors would significantly impact the measure as the earlier bracelets were not insulated from the outside and were in a more open position, which meant that convection or irradiation could cool down or heat the bracelet. Sensor manufacturers like Texas Instruments support the usage of temperature sensors in smartwatches or fitness trackers. Therefore more sensors are anticipated in the future. For instance, the LMT70 Wearable Design, which measures human skin and room temperatures with an accuracy of 0.1°C in the human body temperature range of 20°C-42°C, uses a tiny form factor electrical system that fits within a smartwatch or fitness tracker.
By end-user vertical, the global wearable temperature sensors market is segmented into healthcare, consumer applications, sports/financial, industrial, entertainment and media, and other end-user verticals. The consumer applications segment accounted for the largest market share during the forecast period. Wearables have been increasing for consumer applications such as fitness and wellness. Some wearables used for consumer applications include smartwatches, rings, fitness bands, smart fabrics, or e-textiles. Such wearables use different sensors, including pressure, humidity, photo optic, and temperature. The segment comprises wearables that are mainly under the retail part and do not require a large number of approvals. The market for temperature sensor-enabled wearables that continuously monitor data is driven by consumer trends emphasizing maintaining health, preventing diseases, and diagnosing any ailments that may exist. In 2019, more than half (56%) of Americans own at least one wearable, according to a study by the Manifest. Additionally, 13% of individuals say they'll buy a wearable in 2020, illustrating the rise in popularity of consumer wearables like smartwatches and fitness trackers.
By region, the global wearable temperature sensors market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Rest of the World.
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Asia-Pacific accounted for the largest market share during the forecast period. The Asia-Pacific region includes significant countries such as China, Japan, and India, increasing technology adoption. The increase in the usage of smart devices in the region is a significant factor driving the market's growth. For instance, according to GSMA, the adoption rate of smartphones in Asia-Pacific accounted for 64% in 2019 and is expected to reach 81% by 2025. The increase in the adoption rate of smartphones creates a space for a connected ecosystem or a platform for data collection from different sensors and connected devices. Additionally, technological improvements have inspired wearable manufacturers to develop novel ways to integrate sensors into smartwatches and track changes using iOS and Android apps. Also, there has been a push for wearable devices in the region by the governments. For instance, According to a recent Times Network report, the Ministry of Electronics and IT plans to produce SOPs aligned with the PLI scheme for manufacturing mobile phones. The scheme will capture the vast, anticipated demand for wearables, hearables, Internet of Things, and VR devices. 78.5% of respondents use some personal health technology, according to the Health of Asia Barometer 2020 research by Prudential and the Economist, which compiles survey data from 13 Asian countries. About 27% of the respondents used a blood pressure monitor, 26% pointed out that they use a smartwatch, 25% use smart thermometers, and 24% of respondents said they use wearable fitness trackers to control digital health devices. The perception of keeping fit using personal health technology and the adoption of smart devices is triggering the growth of the temperature sensor market.
Europe is the second largest region. The European region has been growing in wearables temperature sensors with support from the European Union and significant investments made by various global vendors. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has also played an essential role in the growth of wearables in the region. The European Union's push with new wearable technologies investments brings in new opportunities for the temperature sensor market. For instance, In April 2021, the EU project launched EUR 2.4 million competition to create ethical and sustainable wearable technologies and smart textiles. The program focuses on seeking applications from teams of art, design, technology, or engineering practitioners and businesses to co-develop compelling, ethical, innovative, and sustainable solutions for wearable technology and e-textiles. Rising health concerns and chronic diseases and the need for real-time body tracking for health checks are significant factors for the growth of wearable temperature sensors.
North America is the third largest region. The demand for wearable devices increased the competition amongst the vendors in the market, and using different sensors to provide insights has become an imperative factor for differentiation. Temperature sensors for human temperature sensing play a vital part in applications such as smart patches, smartphones, footwear, and others. In the United States and Canada, a rapid shift in self-care habits drives the demand for temperature sensors in the region, especially during the pandemic. For instance, a survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Samueli Integrative Health Programs found that 80% of respondents said they would be more mindful of practicing regular self-care after the pandemic. The study had more than 2000 participants and was performed in May 2020. Additionally, 54% of Canadian businesses intend to increase their investment in digital health solutions over the next five years, according to Mercer's Health on Demand research performed in 2020. Half (50%) of workers were excited by a forward-looking concept of health that includes digital health innovation. The transition towards digital health also creates growth opportunities in the market for temperature sensors.
Key players in the global wearable temperature sensors market are Silicon Laboratories Inc., Maxim Integrated Product Inc., STMicroelectronics NV, Texas Instruments Inc., AMS AG, Melexis, Analog Devices Inc., GreenTEG, TE Connectivity Ltd, and Sensirion AG.