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Canada Wearable Technology Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Wearable Technology market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

This report covers wearable technology in Canada:

  • Wearable technology: any technological device that can be worn on a user’s body, including watches/bands/bracelets, headphones, clothing and cameras.
  • Smartwatch: a wearable computer in the form of a wristwatch. Capable of connecting to the internet, as well as many functions similar to a smartphone, such as GPS and activity tracking, texts, calls and music playback.
  • Activity tracker: a wearable device that uses step counters and GPS technology to track a user’s activity.
  • Smart headphones/earbuds: headphones or earbuds with capabilities beyond simple audio playback. Typically include Bluetooth technology, voice control and access to a digital assistant.
  • Smart clothing: clothing such as shirts and jackets with built-in technology.

What you need to know

The primary focus of this report will be to investigate what share of consumers are currently using wearable technology, the reasons for using it vs not using it and the features that they are most interested in. As will be shown in this report, wearable tech has established a stable position in the marketplace – but the real test will be growing the technology to have more relevance outside of the fitness community that it is currently dependent on. The findings of this report are based on the results of Mintel’s exclusive research and will help provide clarity on a market that is at the leading edge of technology, but may need guidance to evolve from a nice-to-have to a must-have device.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Scott Stewart, a leading analyst in the Technology and Media sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Wearable technology represents the next step in personal technology. Computers, smartphones and tablets have all entered the market and established themselves as ubiquitous devices owned by the vast majority of consumers. With the emergence of wearable tech, its goal is to become as valuable as those other pieces of personal tech. So far, wearable tech’s impact has been predominantly focused on the fitness and exercise market – with the technology providing data and motivation that was previously unavailable. However, looking ahead, the possibilities for wearable technology in everyday consumer lives are endless and the challenge will be for companies to come up with ways to make the technology as accessible and relevant as possible to the entire consumer market. Scott Stewart
Senior Technology and Media Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Many consumers find no use in wearable technology
            • Figure 1: Reasons for not owning wearable technology, September 2018
          • There’s a limit to what people want in wearable technology
            • Figure 2: Interest in wearable tech features, September 2018
          • The opportunities
            • A sizeable share of consumers own some sort of wearable tech
              • Figure 3: Wearable technology owned, September 2018
            • Active lifestyles and exercise play a major role in the wearable tech market
              • Figure 4: Wearable tech owned, by physical activity in the past month, September 2018
            • Tracking physical activity is the top reason for owning wearable tech
              • Figure 5: Reasons for owning wearable technology, September 2018
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Capitalizing on an aging population
                • The high risk of heart disease
                  • Positioning wearable tech as technology or exercise equipment
                    • Availability of mobile payments makes wearable tech more valuable
                      • Encouraging consumers to use discretionary funds on wearable tech
                      • Market Factors

                        • Capitalizing on an aging population
                          • Figure 6: Canadian population aged 70 years and older, 2000-17
                          • Figure 7: Echo Spot – Be Together More, April 2018
                        • The high risk of heart disease
                          • Positioning wearable tech as technology or exercise equipment
                            • Availability of mobile payments makes wearable tech more valuable
                              • Encouraging consumers to use discretionary funds on wearable tech
                              • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                • Social media apps are helping drive demand for wearable tech
                                  • Smart headphones are becoming the norm
                                    • Tech, GPS and fitness companies are competing in wearable tech
                                      • Finding the balance between function and style
                                        • Wearable technology will converge with the smart trend
                                          • Wearable technology has potential far beyond what’s now available
                                          • What’s Working?

                                            • Social media apps are helping drive demand for wearable tech
                                              • Figure 8: Summit Features: Advanced bear defense, August 2018
                                              • Figure 9: Apple Watch Series 4 – Better You – Apple, September 2018
                                            • Smart headphones are becoming the norm
                                              • Figure 10: Hesh 3 – Wireless Perfection – Skullcandy, September 2017
                                          • Challenges

                                            • Tech, GPS and fitness companies are competing in wearable tech
                                              • Finding the balance between function and style
                                                • Figure 11: Explore Fossil Q Hybrid Smartwatch Features, May 2017
                                            • What’s Next?

                                              • Wearable technology will converge with the smart trend
                                                • Wearable technology has potential far beyond what’s now available
                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                  • Wearable technology usage and interest
                                                    • Role of exercise and lifestyle in wearable tech
                                                      • Barriers to purchase of wearable technology
                                                        • Purchase drivers for wearable technology
                                                          • Demand for non-activity tracking features
                                                          • Wearable Technology Usage and Interest

                                                            • A sizeable share of consumers own some sort of wearable tech
                                                              • Figure 12: Wearable technology owned, September 2018
                                                              • Figure 13: Type of smartwatch owned, by age, September 2018
                                                              • Figure 14: Type of smartwatch owned, by gender, September 2018
                                                              • Figure 15: Wearable technology owned, by age, September 2018
                                                              • Figure 16: Vinci 2.0 – World’s First Standalone Smart Wireless Headphones, January 2018
                                                              • Figure 17: iPhone 7 + AirPods – Siri – Apple, January 2017
                                                              • Figure 18: Wearable technology owned, by income, September 2018
                                                            • Wearable tech is not capitalizing on the interest it has created
                                                              • Figure 19: Wearable technology owned, August 2017 vs September 2018
                                                          • Role of Exercise and Lifestyle in Wearable Tech

                                                            • Active lifestyles and exercise play a major role in wearable tech market
                                                              • Figure 20: Physical activity in the past month, September 2018
                                                              • Figure 21: Wearable tech owned, by physical activity in the past month, September 2018
                                                              • Figure 22: Wearable tech future purchase intent, by physical activity in the past month, September 2018
                                                              • Figure 23: Wearable tech is a great gift, by physical activity in the past month, September 2018
                                                              • Figure 24: Number of wearable tech device types owned, September 2018
                                                              • Figure 25: Physical activity in the last month, by number of wearable tech device types owned, September 2018
                                                            • Investigating the kinds of exercise consumers engage in
                                                              • Figure 26: Physical activity in the last month, by gender, September 2018
                                                              • Figure 27: Physical activity in the last month, by age, September 2018
                                                              • Figure 28: Own wearable technology, by physical activity in past month, September 2018
                                                          • Barriers to Purchase of Wearable Technology

                                                            • Many consumers find no use in wearable technology
                                                              • Figure 29: Reasons for not owning wearable technology, September 2018
                                                              • Figure 30: Reasons for not owning wearable technology: no use for it, by physical activity in past month, September 2018
                                                              • Figure 31: Wearable tech ownership vs reason for not owning, by gender, September 2018
                                                              • Figure 32: Wearable tech ownership vs reason for not owning, by age, September 2018
                                                              • Figure 33: Apple Watch Series 4 – How to Use Emergency SOS – Apple, September 2018
                                                            • Price is a major hurdle for wearable technology
                                                              • Figure 34: Reasons for not owning wearable technology, by age, September 2018
                                                              • Figure 35: Reasons for not owning wearable technology, by income, September 2018
                                                            • Other mobile devices are potential competition for wearable tech
                                                              • Figure 36: Reasons for not owning wearable technology: other devices can do the same things, by age, September 2018
                                                          • Purchase Drivers for Wearable Technology

                                                            • Tracking physical activity is the top reason for owning wearable tech
                                                              • Figure 37: Reasons for owning wearable technology, September 2018
                                                              • Figure 38: Reasons for owning wearable technology, by gender, September 2018
                                                              • Figure 39: Reasons for owning wearable technology, by age, September 2018
                                                              • Figure 40: Interest in wearable tech features, September 2018
                                                            • Gifting plays a major role in the wearable tech industry
                                                              • Figure 41: Reason for owning: it was a gift, by household composition, September 2018
                                                              • Figure 42: Expect to buy wearable tech in the future, by reason for ownership, September 2018
                                                              • Figure 43: Don’t use devices as often as when I first got them, by reason for ownership, September 2018
                                                            • Distinguishing health tracking from activity tracking
                                                              • Figure 44: Interest in wearable tech features, by age, September 2018
                                                          • Demand for Non-activity Tracking Features

                                                            • Consumers are interested in wearable tech that replicates smartphones
                                                              • Figure 45: Interest in wearable tech features, by gender, September 2018
                                                              • Figure 46: Interest in wearable tech features, by reason for ownership, September 2018
                                                              • Figure 47: TURF analysis: interest in wearable tech features, September 2018
                                                            • There is a limit to what features people want in wearable technology
                                                              • Figure 48: Interest in wearable tech features, September 2018
                                                              • Figure 49: Interest in wearable tech features, by age, September 2018
                                                            • Consumers are practical about what they want in wearable tech
                                                              • Figure 50: Importance of wearable tech factors, September 2018
                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                            • Data sources
                                                              • Consumer survey data
                                                                • TURF analysis
                                                                  • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                      • Terms