Demand for consumer technology surged in 2021, driven by remote working, an increase in contactless transactions and home entertainment. Tablets, laptops and wearables were big sellers, helping to sustain consumer tech growth.
The sector is set to experience more of a slowdown this year, according to GfK’s ‘State of Consumer Tech and Durables’ report, released in March. It says that ongoing supply chain disruption and geopolitical events such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will contribute to a slowing market, while financial uncertainty fuelled by forecast inflation will see consumers across some demographics cutting back on spend.
There are some positive factors to note however. GfK says "there ‘remains a willingness to pay extra for products that demonstrate added value. This is particularly true for those that align with strengthening consumer priorities on sustainability."
Technology and communication company Cross says that as consumers increase their technology uptake, they have higher expectations for how smoothly digital interactions will happen. It said: "Consumers expect companies to double down on developing a strong and sustainable digital customer experience."
Consumer wearables technology — such as smart watches, wireless headphones and smart glasses — was big business in the last year, as people focused on wellbeing and tracked their levels of fitness and activity during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Wearables that "reflect newly connected customers", such as those that integrate into the internet of things or those appliances that can deliver multiple functions at once will continue to fuel demand.
Around 40% of growth in the global wearables market is expected to originate from APAC, according to a report from global technology research and advisory company Technavio, released in January. It says: “The increasing adoption of new technologies, the presence of large crowdfunding platforms, and the rising adoption of contactless payment methods are some of the factors that will significantly influence the growth of the wearable technology market share in the [APAC] region.”
Wearable tech conferences to watch out for
The Wearable Technologies Conference 2022 Asia is taking place from 31 August to 2 September at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and will focus on emerging, wearable technologies that will impact healthcare and sports.
Also taking place in the same venue is TechSpo Singapore 2022, running across 15-16 September, which will feature exhibitors showcasing innovation across a range of tech and wearable applications, such as mobile and internet.