There is a lot of hype around wearables, and yet turning the buzz into a real market opportunity remains a challenge. With different geographical regions offering expertise in different wearable technologies or across different stages of the value chain, the ability to leverage global strengths in a resourceful way is non-trivial. The U.S. has long been considered a hotspot for wearable electronics innovation, yet development and adoption of wearable electronics have taken place globally. In this report we confirm that the U.S. is a dominant player in this space; perhaps more importantly, we identify nine additional less expected global hotspots that are catching up on some fronts: Australia, Canada, China, Israel, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, and the U.K. By examining research and development, backing, and adoption of wearable electronics across the globe, we determine note that while China has a relatively small startup community, startups in this country are most well-funded; whereas Canada’s academic community is largely focused on developing virtual reality technologies and device components, its startup community is looking to make this nation a hub for smart textile innovation; and while the U.K. lags behind on patent portfolio, it is on the forefront of technology adoption.
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