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The History of Wearable Technology

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The History of Wearable Technology

The History of Wearable Technology

Today’s infographic not only highlights the history of wearable technology, but it also shows the noticeable acceleration in the advancement and adoption of new innovations. At the beginning, it would take hundreds of years between breakthroughs such as eyeglasses and the abacus ring. Today, new wearable tech innovations happen every month. In the last ten years, we’ve had the Google Glass, Fitbit, Oculus Rift, and countless others.

Interestingly, the history of wearable technology is littered with commercial failures and a few game changers, with not much in between. The reality is, however, that the duds seem to outweigh the successes by a wide margin.

For investors, this means that a strategic investment in a wearable tech company or product could either be a ten-bagger or go to zero. For this reason, due diligence is a key aspect of judging the validity of these companies.

As examples, the air-conditioned hat, Pulsar Calculator Watch, Seiko UC 2000 Wrist PC, and Levi’s ICD+ Jacket never really took off. Even great technologies such as the Google Glass never really generated any returns. This was a lot of risk to take on for no return, but perhaps in the future these patents and knowledge can benefit a company like Google.

The clearest commercial success on the list happened in 1979. The Sony Walkman and subsequent Sony Discman helped put the company on track to become an entertainment powerhouse. Over 400 million Walkman portable music players have been sold over time, with about 200 million of those being cassette players.

However, not all products with good fanfare are destined for success. The commercial potential of many wearable technologies introduced in recent years are still up in the air.

Fitbit filed for a $100 million IPO, but it now has to compete against a plethora of other fitness trackers on the market. The Apple Watch has been launched to much fanfare, but it comes with no guarantees for Apple – a company that needs a lot of new revenues on a product to move the needle. Lastly, the creation of the Oculus Rift could pioneer virtual reality and bring it to consumers. The company was already bought by Facebook for $400 million in cash, $1.6 billion in stock, and an additional $300 million contingent on specific financial targets. Will this transaction ultimately benefit Facebook shareholders? While there are no guarantees, so far reviews have been overwhelmingly positive for the virtual reality device.

What is clear is that, based on the history of wearable technology, devices that move the masses are far and between. The successes that do make it, however, can change the world and generate chart-topping returns.

Original graphic by: Staysourced

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Ranked: Semiconductor Companies by Industry Revenue Share

Nvidia is coming for Intel’s crown. Samsung is losing ground. AI is transforming the space. We break down revenue for semiconductor companies.

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A cropped pie chart showing the biggest semiconductor companies by the percentage share of the industry’s revenues in 2023.

Semiconductor Companies by Industry Revenue Share

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on Apple or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Did you know that some computer chips are now retailing for the price of a new BMW?

As computers invade nearly every sphere of life, so too have the chips that power them, raising the revenues of the businesses dedicated to designing them.

But how did various chipmakers measure against each other last year?

We rank the biggest semiconductor companies by their percentage share of the industry’s revenues in 2023, using data from Omdia research.

Which Chip Company Made the Most Money in 2023?

Market leader and industry-defining veteran Intel still holds the crown for the most revenue in the sector, crossing $50 billion in 2023, or 10% of the broader industry’s topline.

All is not well at Intel, however, with the company’s stock price down over 20% year-to-date after it revealed billion-dollar losses in its foundry business.

RankCompany2023 Revenue% of Industry Revenue
1Intel$51B9.4%
2NVIDIA$49B9.0%
3Samsung
Electronics
$44B8.1%
4Qualcomm$31B5.7%
5Broadcom$28B5.2%
6SK Hynix$24B4.4%
7AMD$22B4.1%
8Apple$19B3.4%
9Infineon Tech$17B3.2%
10STMicroelectronics$17B3.2%
11Texas Instruments$17B3.1%
12Micron Technology$16B2.9%
13MediaTek$14B2.6%
14NXP$13B2.4%
15Analog Devices$12B2.2%
16Renesas Electronics
Corporation
$11B1.9%
17Sony Semiconductor
Solutions Corporation
$10B1.9%
18Microchip Technology$8B1.5%
19Onsemi$8B1.4%
20KIOXIA Corporation$7B1.3%
N/AOthers$126B23.2%
N/ATotal $545B100%

Note: Figures are rounded. Totals and percentages may not sum to 100.


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Meanwhile, Nvidia is very close to overtaking Intel, after declaring $49 billion of topline revenue for 2023. This is more than double its 2022 revenue ($21 billion), increasing its share of industry revenues to 9%.

Nvidia’s meteoric rise has gotten a huge thumbs-up from investors. It became a trillion dollar stock last year, and broke the single-day gain record for market capitalization this year.

Other chipmakers haven’t been as successful. Out of the top 20 semiconductor companies by revenue, 12 did not match their 2022 revenues, including big names like Intel, Samsung, and AMD.

The Many Different Types of Chipmakers

All of these companies may belong to the same industry, but they don’t focus on the same niche.

According to Investopedia, there are four major types of chips, depending on their functionality: microprocessors, memory chips, standard chips, and complex systems on a chip.

Nvidia’s core business was once GPUs for computers (graphics processing units), but in recent years this has drastically shifted towards microprocessors for analytics and AI.

These specialized chips seem to be where the majority of growth is occurring within the sector. For example, companies that are largely in the memory segment—Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron Technology—saw peak revenues in the mid-2010s.


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