“Appcessories”: Accessorise your Mobile Life
Smart hardware accessories that connect to the smartphone have only been possible since the arrival of the iPhone, some five years ago, which created the app ecosystem necessary for their development. They have only been practical even more recently as a critical mass market makes it worthwhile to develop such models. In this app-centric world, the smartphone, furnished with a relevant app, is becoming the means of linking external devices and peripherals to the cloud, thereby becoming a central point for processing and forwarding content to web-based portals or cloud-based applications, leading to some very innovative devices ranging from basic fitness wearables to vibrating underwear. As noted in our recent research report, we refer to these devices as ‘Appcessories’ or Smart Wireless Accessories or App-enabled devices. The coming together of smart hardware and companion apps represents a further enhancement of the app ecosystem, and one without excessive development costs. The technology advances from vendors including Bluetooth low-energy (Bluetooth Smart) will spur the use of these devices in the consumer electronics industry. Significant growth is expected across a very wide breadth of CE applications. However, the actual take up of CE smart wireless accessories will depend on whether companies succeed in creating accessories that will capture the imagination of the consumer. Consequently, our new report found that shipments of app-enabled smart wireless accessories will approach 170 million by the end of 2018, compared to over 18 million this year. The market will be dominated by consumer electronics and fitness accessories, although in the longer run healthcare smart wireless accessories are expected to gain most traction.