Electronics giant Flex sees wearables becoming a vital part of the company’s success in the future, says CEO Mike McNamara.
A major player in the electronics world and currently one of the largest electronics manufacturers on the planet — with 200,000 employees working across 30 countries in the realm of design, manufacturing, distribution, and aftermarket services – McNamara says says he’s sees wearables moving beyond the small slice of company production where it currently sits.
Wearables, a range of personal electronic devices including smart watches, pedometers, heart rate monitors, smart clothing, and more – only makes up about 1% of Flex’s current business.
That’s a relatively small piece of a $25 billion-per-year pie, but one that McNamara believes is set to become a much bigger part of the long-term electronics industry.
In a recent interview with the South China Morning Post, McNamara said: “There is just so many different use cases for wearables that I think it will continue to grow.”
In case you’re wondering why you haven’t heard much about the Flex brand, it’s because Flex produces components and products for companies that then sell them to consumers.
For example, FitBit is a popular wearable item around the world. Flex would be the company that produces the electronics that go into FitBit’s devices.
“We work very, very hard for wearable technology,” he said. “We try to work on the underlying core process technologies that enables wearables to happen.”
Flex sees wearables booming right now
The wearables business is booming. Over 110 million devices are expected to ship in 2016 which is a projected 38% increase from the previous year. That’s about one new device for every three people living in the United States.
In 2020, market experts expect that number to increase to $237 million.
One of the primary reasons for McNamara’s optimism is the potential for new and interesting applications for wearable technology. We are already seeing professional sports organizations talking to wearable manufacturers about adding wearable technology to their player’s uniform in order to better track and evaluate performance during the game.
Hospitals and other health care facilities are also looking to wearables as a step forward in patient care.
With all this in mind, we can be certain that McNamara isn’t the only CEO placing a bet on the wearables market.