Huami further expands into the global health market with debut at CES

Huami (NYSE: HMI), the world’s leading wearable device maker, unveiled 6 new smart devices including the Amazfit T-Rex, an outdoor sports smartwatch, and Amazfit wireless earbuds — PowerBuds and ZenBuds — at the 2020 CES on January 7 in Las Vegas. 

The Amazfit T-Rex is the seventh generation of Amazfit smartwatches. The newly released model has passed stress tests in tough environments in order to meet military standard certifications. With a 1.3” AMOLED display and 5 ATM water resistance, T-Rex is built to withstand extreme temperatures as well as dampness, salt, and alkalis. The smartwatch comes with 14 sports modes and has a battery life of 20 days.

Amazfit wireless earbuds have become one of Huami’s most important healthcare products and can do many things. The Amazfit PowerBuds are great for sports and exercise because of their Clip-to-Go design with removable magnetic ear hooks. They also feature a heart monitoring function. Amazfit ZenBuds have more health-related functions and can help users sleep better due to their noise-blocking in-ear design. The ZenBuds also monitor sleep quality. 

Notably, the Amazfit PowerBuds won research platform IDG’s “Best TWS Fitness Earphones” award, while Huami won “the Most Noteworthy Smart Wearable Innovation Enterprise” award.

In general, wireless earbuds are becoming the most popular wearable devices. Fortune quoted Wedbush analyst Dan Ives who estimated that Apple sold 50 million AirPods last year, earning about USD 8 billion in revenue. In Q3 2019, IDC reported that global wearable device shipments doubled thanks to the growing demand for AirPods. Besides Apple, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds sold well, too. No wonder Huami is releasing two earbuds products in a row at the beginning of 2020. 

Other newly launched products include a smart home gym device called Amazfit HomeStudio, which includes a foldable treadmill, branded as Amazfit AirRun, and a basic smartwatch, the Amazfit Bip S.

At the CES launch, Huami CEO Huang Wang said that Huami is exploring creating more health and fitness products. With the release of the new Amazfit series of products, Huami is trying to achieve another breakthrough in the IoT (Internet of Things) healthcare industry, provide better health monitoring functions, and taking a vital step toward the long-term goal of building a global healthcare ecosystem. 

Huami’s global vision was revealed earlier, as Huang wrote his staff an open letter explaining the company’s mission and key areas of focus on December 30. Huang pointed out that Huami’s mission is “establish a global health ecosystem and be our users’ most trusted partner.”

In the letter, Huang asked: “What is the key user value proposition of the smart wearables industry?” He said this was an important question to which he and his management team gave a lot of thought toward the end of 2019. 

The answer, he said, was health. “Health is not only the key user value proposition of smart wearables, but it is also one of the key user value propositions of the IoT era,” he wrote. 

Healthcare is an essential need for all consumers. The global healthcare market will be worth more than USD 10 trillion by 2022. Contributing to this sum is the wearable tech industry, which was worth nearly USD 23 billion in 2018 and is estimated to reach USD 54 billion by 2023, according to GlobalData. Furthermore, Deloitte calculates that international healthcare spending will account for around 10.2% of global GDP through 2023. In the following years, wearable devices are considered the next big thing.

“Smart wearables can continuously monitor human biometrics 24/7. They can be essential components of sports equipment,” Huang wrote. The development of the IoT allows wearables to be linked with other devices for different uses, such as making online payments, remotely controlling household appliances, using voice assistant apps, creating safeguards for children, and accessing social media, among other functions.

As wearable devices will be a focal point of the evolving healthcare ecosystem, Huami’s key focus will unfold in three phases, according to Huang. In the short term, the company will focus on developing wearable devices, hoping to take a leading position in the industry by being a smart wearable products and services provider with best-in-class “Device + Chip + Cloud Services” capabilities. In the middle term, Huami will develop a big data healthcare platform. After collecting user data from its millions of products, it will use the information for machine learning that can help develop more intelligent and meaningful real-time decision making applications (such as reminders or alerts) and analytical tools. In the long term, Huami will work to reshape the healthcare ecosystem and drive new innovations. 

By far, Apple has dominated the global high-end market for wearable products. Some experts say Huami has much more potential, however, because the middle- and low-end wearable market is larger and hungrier for products. The company is one of the leaders in the global wearable devices market, having shipped 100 million units worldwide as of last August. Huami produced 27.6 million devices during the first three quarters in 2019, surpassing 2018’s total with three months to spare.

(Photos from Huami)

Fang Yuan

Fang Yuan is our columnist. She used to live in New York and is originally from Shanghai. She is a Certified Passive House Consultant and works on sustainable building consulting. She believes that technology helps people and the environment if it is being used mindfully.

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