How wearable band shipments will hit 17m this year

If you’re not one of the people who got a wearable band last year, you might well order one this year, as numbers look set to skyrocket.

According to research firm Canalys, not only did basic and smart band shipments grow dramatically in the second half of 2013 to 1.6m, but 2014 will be the year that wearables “become a key consumer technology”, with shipments hitting 17m.

Canalys estimates that this year, 8m smart bands - the kind that can link with phones - will be shipped this year, with the number soaring to 23m units by 2015 and over 45m by 2017.

Wearable bands may have been seen as the preserve of the fitness-sconscious, but Canalys thinks 2014 marks a new era of DIY health monitoring.

The ability to measure your blood pressure and see how far you walk with a pedometer appeal far more widely, and the smart aspect that allows you to aggregate information and evaluate progress represents a massive opportunity for both buyers and sellers.

Daniel Matte, an analyst from Canalys, says the wearables market is “really about the consumerisation of health”.

“Having a computer on your wrist will become increasingly common”, Matte said, as medical innovation makes it way into personalised devices.

Canalys predicts high-margin smart bands with sophisticated sensor technology will offer sellers "enormous profit potential."

Last year, Samsung was the world leading market player, with 54 per cent of the market share.

But with rumours have been flying that Apple’s currently working on a smart watch, and other manufacturers bound to enter the market, 2014 could be the start of an exciting time.