When you think of Epson, you likely think of ink jet printers, and possibly even video projectors. But do you think of wearable Health Tech products? Probably not. According to an article published by CNBC, the electronics giant is looking to make a significant portion of its income from this market segment. According to the article, the wearable business will bring in about $86 million by 2017 and twice that in 2019. Epson President Minoru Usui is quoted as saying “We are starting at sports and health care. We intend over the next few years to steadily expand in the health care area and in the future go into real medical applications.”
Epson has a number of wristband devices, including their Pulsense PS-500 Watch and PS-100 Band. These monitor heart rate without the need for a chest strap, as well as track your sleep patterns. They hold up to 20 days of data at a time, and uses Bluetooth to wirelessly transfer it to your smartphone or tablet. The company also has their Moverio BT-200 second-generation smart glasses. Google Glass gets the lion’s share of the attention, but the Moverio products are getting the attention of developers and technology partners. Some of these projects are targeting medical applications, such as Evana Medical that helps healthcare workers see a patient’s blood vessels through augmented reality. (See “Augmented Reality Glasses Find the Veins.”) This could have other medical applications, such as delivering information to surgeons in the operating room.
Can Epson redefine itself as a wearable Health Tech company? It sounds like a reasonable strategy, given the dwindling demand for printers and scanners (not to mention dwindling profit margins). Targeting health and medical solutions first is a good idea, since that is where the money is most likely to be in the short term.