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The Next Outlook 2018

In The Next Outlook 2018 we describe six trends in the behaviour of consumers and organisations that are most relevant to companies and institutions in the coming years. Trends company management need to be aware of in order to keep customers satisfied and to attract new ones in this new world, tomorrow as well as today:


One of these trends is illustrated here. To submit a request for the full report
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Wearable is the new mobile

The constant motion in technology, knowledge and society drives the behavior of consumers and businesses. It also provides opportunity for innovations. Being aware of the trends that influence preferences, beliefs and behavior of consumers helps organisations to be ahead of their game.

In the yearly-renewed trend analysis, The Next Organization selects the most important trends that will shake up the game in the year to come. This article focuses on the rapid development of wearable technologies and the way it is improving people’s lives for 2018.


Since the launch of the first iPhone in 2007 consumers have gotten used to having the power of technology with them everywhere at any time. It does not come as a surprise that in the coming future technology will be part of our clothing as well. As technology becomes smaller, faster and more flexible the application possibilities are infinite. These innovations will improve the quality of life for adults, children, disabled and even animals.

Wearable technologies refer to the technological innovations worn close to the body, on the body or within the body. Smartwatches and fitness trackers are already a household name, the next shift will be from strictly sport-oriented wearables towards integral life-improving products.

Wearables will make people’s lives more convenient and connected in three main areas, namely health, comfort and safety.

Health caring wearables

As life expectancy increases, people do what is on their hands to take care of their bodies and assure a long and healthy life. Technology is an important facilitator of this. Gadgets like smart-watches, -necklaces, -trinkets etc. help to keep a record of motion activities, heart rate, sleeping patterns and eating habits. Health-oriented wearables also make a great difference in the lives of people dealing with a disease. For example, the Steadiglove is a stabilizing glove that reduces hand tremors for people with Parkinson’s disease. Although a hand tremor is not life-threatening, it does make daily activities more difficult and can be an early sign of other degenerative conditions. Wearables such as the Steadiglove help people to stay active and independent, therefore contributing to their health in multiple levels.

“Smart casual” just got smarter

Wearable technology makes life easier. However, making life easy is not enough to convince consumers to actually use products. Today’s consumers are not only interested in the technical benefits they get from a product. They want the whole package: useful, fashionable, personal and sometimes even exclusive designer products that reflect who they are. Addressing consumer’s desire for visually attractive designs can help to overcome a significant adoption barrier for new products. Partnerships between tech companies and fashion brands are convincing audiences that wearables can be both functional as well as fashionable.

After 2 decades of waiting, Nike is finally bringing to the market the company’s first “adaptive-fit” sneaker that tightens and loosens to your foot with the push of a button. The sneakers were inspired by 1989’s movie Back To The Future. The limited-edition design (only 89 in the market) will reach the stores by the end of 2016.

Life-saving gear

Technology added to a wearable can save lives. New and improved chip models have for example facilitated the development of applications such as clothing-embedded GPS for finding children or skiers when they are lost. Other innovations are being developed for targeting and early diagnosing diseases. The smart bra from Cycardia Health, or iTBra, allows monthly breast scanning. The breast-tissue data obtained from the bra is submitted via an app and sent to the lab for analysis. The results are provided automatically to personal health care providers (e.g. the family doctor) who then communicate the results to the patient.

The market demand for small wearable devices is rising rapidly and is expected to increase five-fold in the next three years. Moreover, it is still an emerging market with relatively few players and with high revenue potential. Major industry players like Apple and Google are already looking into wearable technologies as the next step for growth. The sky is the limit for the wearable technologies market in 2018. 

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