Category Creation and Digital Ecosystems in Wearable Technology

December 9, 2021  •  David Pring-Mill

This approximately 25,000-word (99 pages) report provides a well-organized thematic analysis of the statements and activities of wearable technology companies.

It deconstructs the business concepts of category creation and digital ecosystems, providing a framework that informs business innovation and investments in new areas.

The launch of Apple’s streaming service and the recently declared pivot by Facebook, now a subsidiary of Meta Platforms, increased the importance of an up-to-date and forward-thinking understanding of hardware-supported digital worlds. Additionally, the pandemic has made health/wellness-supporting tools more relevant.

The report is structured as follows:

  • Category Creation in Wearable Technologies: Category creation, in the form of a new product, business model, or combination of both, is often misunderstood. This section deconstructs the approaches that lead to product/market fit and value-creating partnerships.
  • Digital Ecosystems and Data in Wearable Technologies: Market leaders in wearables tend to view their devices as both contributing to and deriving value from broader digital ecosystems. Dominant multinational technology companies have a clear interest in overseeing the construction, development, and legal framework of ecosystems that favorably position their brands, while enabling direct services and partnerships. Innovators and investors alike are shifting their focus to ecosystems, and this section provides valuable insights for them.
  • Management, Culture, and Recruitment in Wearable Startups or Business Units: Remote-first workplaces might help players of all sizes to maintain resilience. Incubators or “skunkworks” projects might help larger companies to maintain relevance by looking ahead or thinking differently. These could be remote workplaces as well, or hybrid. This section examines the operational approaches that may lead to innovation-supporting cultures.

This report will provide comprehensive answers to the following key questions:

  • What are the factors that will drive consumer and enterprise adoption/usage for wearable technologies?
  • How are these technologies potentially connected to contemporary challenges and opportunities?
  • How might form factors, utility, and positioning change over time?
  • What are the emerging trends in the wearable technologies market and the reasons behind them?
  • How can wearable technology companies ensure that they’re on the right track during acts of category creation?
  • How are these companies approaching academic, medical, and cross-industry partnerships?
  • Why are tech companies increasingly developing and promoting their digital ecosystems?
  • How is data integral to new technologies, ecosystems, and experiences?
  • How can large tech companies ensure that their wearable technology R&D remains synchronized with their operational approaches and the market itself?
  • How can remote-first wearable technology disruptors ensure that they’re operating efficiently and effectively?

Target Audience

  • tech companies and manufacturers involved in wearable technologies/smartwatches/consumer electronics
  • Internet of Things (IoT) app and service providers
  • management leaders and consultants researching innovation strategies
  • health and fitness companies
  • retailers anticipating the growth trends of consumer electronics
  • investors and investment banks

Companies Mentioned in This Report

  • Withings
  • Ōura
  • L’Oréal
  • Levels
  • Motiv/Proxy
  • Apple
  • Samsung
  • Facebook/Meta Platforms
  • Amazon
  • Google
  • Nokia

Methodology

Policy2050 excels at identifying the strategies and patterns within complex data that is gathered through exhaustive secondary and primary research. This process includes publicly available sources, such as annual reports, academic journals, consumer surveys, trade publications, industry symposia, and podcasts, along with interviews and inputs from a wide network of market experts and internal knowledge. Strategic perspectives are leveraged from across the value chain and from relevant tech vendors causing disruptions or reconfigurations in markets.

Information is filtered and validated through this lens of expertise and scrutiny, or contextualized to expose differences in results and industry disagreements. Perceptions of current trends, as reflected in reporting, often translate into actions and investments with consequences. The many hyperlinks included throughout this report help to ensure that important figures, strategic statements, and other market characterizations are easily and fully traceable.

Executive quotations are sometimes lightly edited for clarity. Original, stock, and brand-provided images are used to express key concepts and enliven the text where appropriate.

This particular report, titled “Category Creation and Digital Ecosystems in Wearable Technology,” focuses primarily on emerging wearable technology startups (Withings, Ōura, Levels) in addition to a tech incubator run by cosmetics giant L’Oréal, as a means of understanding category creation and digital ecosystem strategies. It could be considered as a thematic analysis or series of business case studies.

Thematic analysis exhaustively identifies, analyzes, organizes, describes, and reports themes to address a range of qualitative research questions. When conducted by a third-party, it potentially improves objectivity and decreases the internal research burden of sifting through abundant information and multiplying niche podcasts.

Business case studies can illuminate broader markets and develop problem-solving techniques by honing in on specific business scenarios, especially when a wider spectrum of variables, including in-case and cross-case factors, is first identified. In addition to their internal strategic role, case studies are repurposable as sales collateral when engaging external parties, such as B2B clients and investors.

The pandemic-accelerated growth of the wearable technologies market and the decision by Facebook to pivot into a hardware-supported “metaverse” concept increases the relevance of any patterns, themes, or strategies identified through these methods.

Media Kit

The online press release is visible here. The original graphics within this release can be freely used by the news media (including content marketing blogs) with attribution to Policy2050.com. Additional media materials are available upon request.

Inquiries can be directed to david.pringmill@policy2050.com.

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