Wearables shipments in Q4 2016 reached 33.9 million units according to IDC up 16.9% year over year.
In 2017, wearables are still primarily focused on health and fitness applications, but are now evolving from single-purpose devices, such as those tracking footsteps, to multi-purpose devices combining health and fitness capabilities and smartphone capabilities as these devices become connected to the cellular network and no longer require being tethered to a smartphone. New LTE Release 13 narrowband technologies, allowing for cost-effective connections, enable this freedom.
Fitness Band Use Case
Fitness band maker
A fitness band maker wants to grow its customer base by offering new features and freeing its device from the need of smartphone tethering by providing true wide area mobility. It also wants to expand its feature offerings beyond basic footstep counting and heart rate monitoring to full vital sign monitoring, location tracking, and “call for help” signaling.
A fitness wearable based on Sequans’ Monarch LTE platform, enables the fitness band maker to offer numerous new features and capabilities in a standalone device that has its own mobility and does not need to be tethered to a smartphone. The company can therefore design a fitness band that is far more attractive and “sticky” even to those consumers who purchased it primarily for fitness capabilities, but is now able to use it for text messaging, music streaming, and other compelling LTE features such as the ability to make voice emergency calls.
Monarch’s ultra low power consumption enables a fitness wearable to have a very long battery life. According to Machina Research, 4G LTE can increase a wearable’s battery life five times that of 2G. Using Monarch, which combines it’s own Dynamic Power Management technology with the already low power capability of Release 13 LTE technology (including PSM and eDRX), enables the fitness band to go for a month without recharging.
Monarch’s support of LTE’s bi-directional 3GPP standardized technology allows remote firmware and software updates, enabling the fitness band maker to add new features and capabilities and provide excellent customer support. This, combined with Monarch’s support for VoLTE and E911 for voice voice emergency calls, allows the maker to deliver an ultra smart and ultra useful fitness band with capabilities far beyond the ordinary.