Wearable and connected sports and fitness activity sensors were one of the most buzzed-about sectors at 2012 International CES, and now ABI Research has projected how that trend is translating into wider business opportunities.

Its latest report found that devices designed to collect and automatically share this type of data will reach 90 million shipments in 2017, up from 20.77 million in 2011, a compound annual growth rate of 41 percent.

All those gizmos mean opportunities for related businesses like mobile handset accessory vendors, consumer electronics companies, fitness management service offerings, software developers and online services providers.

“Leveraging mobile handsets to provide automated online data access opens up the wearable wireless market to real-time online connectivity. Although not the only option, standardization around Bluetooth Smart will be the bedrock of this market growth. A whole host of companies in the sports and medical device market, as well as online services companies, are going to have to add or extend their offerings and services to support a new wave of wearable sensor connectivity,” said ABI Research principal analyst Jonathan Collins.

This growing market isn’t just for athletes, either. It also includes home monitoring applications for assisted living, remote patient care to help manage chronic conditions, and a wide variety of uses within hospitals and clinics.

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