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Is smart wearable product a real market?
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Is smart wearable product a real market?

  • Time of issue:2021-08-19

Is smart wearable product a real market?

(Summary description)American augmented reality company Magic Leap received Series C financing with a financing amount of up to 794 million US dollars. We must know that in 2015, the average financing amount after the B round of the wearable technology field was 220 million US dollars. What is particularly noticeable is that the lead investment company is Alibaba, and the companies that are involved in the investment include Google, Gaofeng Investment, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, etc.

  • Time of issue:2021-08-19

Magic Leap, an American augmented reality company, has received Series C financing with a financing amount of up to $794 million. We must know that in 2015, the average financing amount after the B round of the wearable technology field was US$220 million. What is particularly noticeable is that the lead investment company is Alibaba, and the companies that are involved in the investment include Google, Gaofeng Investment, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, etc.


The opposite of this is that after 2015, the wearable technology market as a whole is sluggish. The stock price of listed companies fell. Star companies like Jawbone, which raised 13 rounds of financing and were valued at $3 billion, are also closing product lines and emptying their inventory. Some people are questioning whether wearable devices are a real market?


Recently, Tiger Sniff compiled the latest "Smart Wearable Technology Report" produced by Tracxn, an investment analysis platform for Indian startups ). Based on the data provided and the company we know, take a look at the real situation in this industry. Is Ma Yun buying the company at the price of cabbage, or hitting the mirage with real money?


Trough period


From the perspective of the number of companies established, the amount of investment, and the operating conditions of representative companies, it is indeed a low period for the smart wearable industry.


First, the number of companies established. According to the "Smart Wearable Technology Report" produced by Tracxn, most companies in this field were established in 2013-2014. The number of established companies dropped sharply after 2015.



Secondly, the amount of investment. In 2014, the global investment in the wearable field reached US$1.417 billion, far higher than the US$1.073 billion in 2015. Just halfway through 2016, the total investment exceeded 2015, but this situation is not optimistic, because in February 2016 AR company Magic Leap received a C round of $794 million in financing, which raised the overall water level. If you ignore Magic Leap, the investment in the first half of the year is close to the data of the same period of the previous year, and industry investment is still on the low side.



Finally, it represents the business situation. Fitbit, the largest company in wearable health and fitness products, the main products are smart bracelets and watches , Listed in June 2015, the stock price trend after the listing is like this.



The decline in stock prices is not an isolated phenomenon. Among the 8 companies with the highest IPO market capitalization in the past three years, 7 have their stock prices down, and the only company that has gone up is Vuzix. , This is a company that makes VR products, we will talk about its situation later.


Jawbone, once the world’s second-most-selling smart bracelet company, is only behind Fitbit. In January 2016, Jawbone conducted its 13th round of financing, and its valuation has shrunk to $1.5 billion from the previous round of financing of $3 billion. In May 2016, Jawbone completely discontinued the production of the Up series of health tracking devices and sold all of its existing inventory to third-party distributors.


Current smart wearable technology, the second largest shipper is Xiaomi, which is familiar to Chinese readers. Xiaomi’s main products in the field of smart wear are bracelets and earphones. According to Tracxn's data, bracelet companies as a whole are going downhill, and those that have not yet closed down have switched to producing watches.


To analyze the causes of malaise, let’s first take a look at what kind of products are being made in the field of smart technology.


Main products


According to Tracxn’s "Smart Wearable Technology Report", from 2008 to 2016, there were 1045 wearable technology companies in the world, of which 345 have received investment and received investment amount The total is 5.326 billion U.S. dollars.


We divide our products into five main categories, namely infotainment, sports monitoring, healthcare, enterprise applications, and components. Then pick a few key segments to look at product development.



1. Mirage-like infotainment products


Infotainment products include wearable cameras, headsets, and security tracking devices, but currently the main investment areas are augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) Products.


Augmented reality products seamlessly integrate stereoscopic 3D images into real scenes, allowing real life and virtual worlds to interact. And virtual reality products will take us into a new virtual world. Once the two are mature and commercialized, they will change our study, life, work, and entertainment scenes. Welcome to the world of science fiction.



VR is considered to be the terminal form of the next-generation entertainment business. It is estimated that one million hardware devices will be shipped in 2016. Belongs to a few geek-level players. We hope that through iterations and mature VR technology, it will bring players a different time and space experience in which they are immersed and unable to extricate themselves.


Compared to VR, AR is more advanced. Google Glass and Microsoft Hololens are two typical AR products, which are highly anticipated. First of all, the price is too expensive, Google Glasses sells for $1,500, Hololens sells for $3,000. Then, it is uncomfortable to wear, and the weight is generally more than one pound. Also "hot head", because there is no room for heat dissipation due to high integration. The battery life is short, averaging 2-5 hours. The display area is small. The most deadly thing is that it can't give people a true feeling of being in nature, and various visual deviations can make the experiencer feel dizzy and nauseous.


On January 15, 2015, Google announced that it would stop selling the personal version of the first-generation Google Glasses and change it to enterprise first. Microsoft Hololens is still being sold as a geek product.


Over 35% of the investment in the wearable technology field each year is invested in the VR and AR fields. Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, and Intel are all nurturing big moves in the VR and AR fields. They want to replace mobile phones and computers and occupy the lives of the public. That day is worth looking forward to, but the time is far from reached. For large-scale commercialization, Facebook included it in its ten-year strategy.


2. A motion monitoring product in the Red Sea


Such products include bracelets, watches, armbands, fitness clothes, etc. The main functions are nothing more than step counting, call reminder, heart rate, blood pressure, and sleep quality monitoring.


The low production cost of sports bracelets and weak technical barriers have brought in many competitors, making survival difficult. Most analysts attribute this collective survival difficulty to the cheap bracelets produced by Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi. The price of Xiaomi bracelet is only one-tenth of Fitbit and Jawbone bracelets, and it is currently the second largest manufacturer of bracelets in the field. In response to this accusation, Xiaomi's public relations person has said that it entered the US market late,Sales data is almost "ignorable".


In addition to competition, poor user stickiness also limits the overall size of the market. In a market research report conducted by Business Insider in 2015, 51% of users said that they did not see any need for use—iPhone has its own step counter and heart rate detection functions, and smart devices such as iPhone and Android meet the requirements. It meets the needs of the vast majority of users.


According to Tracxn’s "Smart Wearable Technology Report", currently smart watches< /a> has the highest sales revenue. Many companies that produce bracelets have already started, or plan to transform, to produce smart watches.


However, whether it is a bracelet or a watch, it is a sea of ​​red. Relatively speaking, body wear products are heating up, and companies like Athos are getting more and more attention.


Athos’ product is a smart fitness suit. There are several palm-sized sensor devices on the fitness suit. It can monitor muscle movement and connect to the mobile phone via Bluetooth. application. These data can monitor the specific amount of exercise of each muscle and avoid sports injuries. The price of a full set of workout clothes is around US$400. At the end of 2015, in the so-called financing winter, Athos received US$35.5 million in Series C financing. Investors included Joe Lacob, the owner of the NBA team Golden State Warriors.



3. Medical and health care products that do not touch the ground


Of the eight wearable technology companies with the highest IPO market capitalization in the past three years, three are in the healthcare sector. Two of them are products for monitoring diabetes indicators.


Take Senseonics as an example. Its blood glucose monitoring system is implanted under the skin, which can be effective for 3 months. This product has just passed the CE certification of the EU regulatory agency in May this year. , Plans to submit relevant application materials to the US FDA at the end of this year.



Currently, the common use of health care products is personal monitoring indicators, such as blood sugar, blood pressure, and smoking cessation reactions. Personal monitoring equipment can achieve measurement, convenience, accuracy, and reminders, but this is far from landing. People knowing the truth does not mean they can better control the situation. For example, in the blood sugar field, there are plans to connect the monitoring results to a pump, and automatically deliver medicines to block adverse reactions after exceeding the standard, forming a circulation in the body similar to a healthy human body. Large-scale commercial use of this step has not yet been achieved. This reduces people's dependence on healthcare products.


Ekso Bionics is one of the three listed healthcare companies mentioned earlier. It provides exoskeletons for paralyzed patients. With this product, patients who have been bedridden for many years can Standing and walking. The whole system is made of all-carbon alloy and is light. It also uses a bionic design, powered by a built-in electric motor, so that this set of mechanical legs can move like a human. It is equipped with an intelligent computing device on its back, which can perform statistical calculations according to the user's walking style and attributes. This device is freely available to paralyzed patients in some hospitals in the United States. After practicing for a period of time, they can walk like normal people. In the product introduction video, many users shed tears. They said "When I Taking the first step is like being reborn."



Is it a real market


First of all, VR and AR are definitely not real markets at present.


Although many large companies believe that this field has a bright future, with the current price/performance ratio, the market covered by their products can basically be ignored.


Among the eight companies with the highest IPO market capitalization in the wearable technology sector in the past three years, seven of the stocks have gone down, and only Vuzix has risen, but users It reflects that the experience of its VR products is almost the same as that of Google Glasses and Microsoft Hololens.


Secondly, there is a market for accessories such as health bracelets and watches, but they are not as big as imagined.


Because of poor stickiness, duplication of mobile phone functions, and low technical barriers, this field is already a red sea.


Again, disease management, like exercise monitoring, remains at the data collection stage, and management in the true sense has not yet been achieved.


The user's reliance on use is weak, and the price is high, so this market has not been opened yet. The market is real, but the audience is small, the price is high, and the current degree of commercialization is not high.


Finally, high-end rehabilitation products, especially prosthetic products; safety tracking products for children and the elderly; wearable cameras for extreme environments; preventive sports Damaged fitness clothing; these markets are real, but not popular, and some can even be said to be niche.


This is the real situation in the wearable field. Products that are in high demand and just needed are immature, and mature products are in low demand and non-rigid needs. It cannot be said that smart wearable products are "pseudo propositions", because ten years later, VR products that geeks are now playing may come into our lives.


After ten years, our day may be spent like this: get up in the morning, eat a bowl of instant noodles, then stand on the treadmill, turn on the AR product, and run In the seaside, forest…… any scene we like. Then sit on the sofa. Put on VR glasses, cut into the office environment, and start the day's work. Order a takeaway for dinner, then put on VR glasses again, meet with a few friends, switch scenes to bars, clubs, and eat, chat, and exercise with friends in a virtual world. Maybe you can stay home for the rest of your life.


Chinese enterprise layout: Jack Ma’s finishing touch


In Tracxn's "Smart Wearable Technology Report", we see the investment layout of some Chinese companies (the form is attached hereafter).


Baidu is absent from BAT companies.


Alibaba has only one investment, but it is quite substantial. In February 2016, during the low period of the wearable field, Jack Ma led the investment of Magic Leap, an American augmented reality company, with a total investment of US$794 million. The participating companies include Google; Gaofeng Investment; Warner Bros. Entertainment; Fidelity International; JP Morgan; Morgan Stanley, etc. What's interesting is that this point in time just became the turning point of Ali's stock price. Prior to this, Alibaba's stock price continued to fall under the influence of fakes.



This week (July 23-25) Taobao Crafts Festival held in Shanghai, Magic Leap came to the platform, CMO Wallace showed the company’s Augmented reality (AR) shopping application. Using AR technology, users can view virtual goods in 360 degrees and place them in real scenes to view the display effects.


Other Chinese companies’ investments are concentrated in the field of information collection. Tencent has 4 investments, JD.com, Xiaomi, and Shunwei each have 2 investments, each with a quota of 10 million Dollar level.


Attachment: Main investment status of Chinese companies in the field of smart wear



Attachment: Representative companies in the global smart wearable field




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