Samsung is the global leader in patent applications for wearable tech, according to a new report from market intelligence firm Lux Research. The distinction is based on patent filings between the start of 201o and May of this year.
There is one crucial caveat: A lot of different companies are filing these patents, and while Samsung is in the lead, its patents account for only four percent of the 41,301 relevant patents filed. Its top ranking is followed by Qualcomm with three percent and Apple with 2.2 percent.
The fact that Samsung and Apple are in the top three may have something to do with their considerable output in smartwatches. Samsung was first to market with such a device in its 2013 release of the Samsung Gear S. While that failed to generate much excitement among consumers, the Apple Watch has started to really drive consumer adoption and may prove to be a game changer.
Samsung has also proven prolific in filing patents for wearable technology with healthcare applications. Health monitoring technology accounts for 1o percent of the patent filings considered, but it makes up a healthy 25 percent of Samsung’s own filings. That could prove a boon to the company as the healthcare market’s appetite for wearables – particularly those that can help facilitate remote care – increases due to shifting demographic trends adding strain to healthcare systems around the world.