In our previous research brief on the Internet of Things (IoT), we explained that venture investors have poured close to $752M into companies that provide technologies that connect to the Internet and to each other through sensors, wireless networks as well as other “machine to machine” methods. But with the hype surrounding Google Glass and Apple’s iWatch, we wanted to take a closer look at venture capital financing into wearable technologies, a sub-section of companies that offer both Internet and non-Internet enabled devices that can be worn on the body. While companies in the wearable hardware market have raised close to $570M, the market is still relatively immature as two companies (Jawbone and GoPro) account for over 2/3 of total funding while others like Pebble raised a $15M Series A round just this month. A breakdown of the different sub-categories within wearable computing as well as some of the companies within each is below:
Augmented Reality & Personal Display - Companies that, like Google Glass, offer wearable hardware augmented by computer-generated features such as text messages or GPS data. This includes companies such as Lumus Ltd. and Pebble Technology.
Body Monitoring (Health & Fitness) – Companies that offer tools for knowing your own mind and body, which include Fitbit and Jawbone.
Brain Monitoring – Companies that deliver biosensors that can monitor and learn from the human brain, which can assist with capacities such as stress reduction and mental performance. Examples include BrainBot and NeuroSky.
Controlled Computing - Companies offering wearable devices that allow users to control their computers via the body and bypassing conventional controls such as keyboards. This includes companies like InteraXon and Thalmic Labs.
POV (Point of View) - Companies specializing in wearable cameras and audio recorders such as GoPro and nugg-it.
Below is a list of the venture investors who have already placed multiple bets in the wearable technologies market. These firms include Morado Venture Partners, which has backed Lumo BodyTech and Neumitra, and Mayfield Fund, an investor in Basis Science and Jawbone.