Innovations in sensor technology usher in an era of self-monitoring devices

The market for quantified-self technologies – apps that enable people to track and quantify aspects of their daily lives – is currently in the embryonic stage. However, explosive growth is expected in coming years as many companies successfully complete crowd sourcing activities for funding; an indication of the high interest the domain has generated. Communication, computing, data capture and feedback mechanisms will be key technology enablers for quantified-self.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Sensor Technology Innovations Enabling Quantified-Self, finds that wearable technology has gained considerable traction especially in the health and wellness industry. Increasing momentum in the use of sensor-enabled wearable devices promises more design opportunities in the future.

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“The miniaturization trend has quickened development of improved and innovative wearable devices such as smart watches and smart glasses that monitor athletic performance and health,” said Technical Insights Senior Research Analyst Sumit Kumar Pal. “Quantified-self facilitates the tracking of diet, sleep, heart rate, activity, exercise and moods and allows individuals to gain better insights on physiological parameters that were never examined earlier.”

As healthcare is one of the main industries impacted by the quantified-self movement, acquiring accurate data and ensuring seamless interoperability are key challenges. In addition, data sharing among health services and pharmaceutical firms raises privacy concerns. Healthcare companies must ensure that data collected from clients is not shared without direct consent.

User perceived benefits will be another critical factor in the success of quantified-self products, along with affordability. To get the healthcare industry further involved in quantified-self, enhancing the connectivity of wearable devices with technology companies to support data exchange will also be crucial.

“Stakeholders are exploring other ecosystems with which quantified-self can be integrated,” added Pal. “Technological advancements in energy harvesting for mobile and wearable devices as well as in social networking dynamics will push the quantified-self industry into the next stage.”

Sensor Technology Innovations Enabling Quantified-Self, a part of the Technical Insights ( subscription, offers technological and market insights on sensors enabling quantified-self. Along with a snapshot of the technology’s global footprint, the study discusses patent publishing trends, R&D focus, funding, and the impact of mega trends to provide a complete view of quantified-self technology. Detailed technology analysis and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.