The New Media Consortium advised that wearable technology was becoming “increasingly relevant” in education when its 2015 Horizon Report, released in February. The International Data Corp. (IDC) followed by reporting that shipments of wearable devices have grown for eight consecutive quarters.
IDC reported a growth in shipments for the first quarter of 2015 of 11.4 million units, a 200% increase over the same quarter in 2014. That doesn’t include the Apple Watch, which has sold around 2.8 million units since its release in April.
“What remains to be seen is how Apple’s arrival will change the landscape,” Ramon Llamas, IDC research manager, told Campus Technology. “The Apple Watch will likely become the device that other wearables will be measured against, fairly or not. This will force the competition to up their game in order to stay on the leading edge of the market.”
Authors of the Horizon report expect that experimentation with wearable devices will be high in education circles, especially with college-aged students. The study found that 71% of students in the survey wanted to use wearables. In addition, two Nebraska universities are working on curricula that would help students in grades 4-6 use wearable technology to learn more about engineering.
The quarterly report said Fitbit topped the market with 3.9 million devices shipped in the first quarter, grabbing 34% of the total market. The Chinese firm Xiaomi was second with 2.8 million units shipped, mostly in China, followed by Garmin (700,000 devices shipped), Samsung (600,000 units), and Jawbone (500,000 units).