Wearable technology is all set to become a prominent feature of our lives. The year 2014 saw a surge in wearable technology with the launch of Apple Watch, Google Glass, and Fitbit – three wearable smart products that garnered a lion’s share of last year’s technology buzz. Several other wearable devices like Samsung Galaxy Gear and the Pebble Smartwatch also hit the market in the past years.
While only a few wearable products are currently available on the market, studies show that coming years are likely to see a greater number of people using wearable products in their daily lives.
According to PwC’s Consumer Intelligence Series – The Wearable Technology Future report, by now, 21% of American adults already own a wearable device and this technology adoption rate is rising to a promising height. However, despite the flurry of these launches, there is still a surprising lack of wearable apps in the app market.
For the development sector, the saturation of development platforms has fragmented the wearable landscape. Dealing with different SDKs and APIs has made it a tricky business for developers to design a wearable app that not only fits the requirement of a wearable device but also looks compelling to mainstream consumers.
While it seems that you can leverage your existing experience with conventional application development to create wearable apps, they are, in actual, completely different and might require you to shift your paradigm.
Forrester analysts predict that wearable devices “will fail to be effective and people will toss them aside if there isn’t a good service layer that goes with them.”
To help you make your wearable app strategy foolproof, we have compiled the top three, most common, and costly mistakes that you should avoid while developing a wearable app.
Avoid Developing on Dumb Sensors
Mere activity tracking capabilities are no longer enough for wearable technology users. Consumers these days want a wearable device that is smart enough to distinguish between the types of activities they’re carrying out automatically.
With the notion of wearable devices going beyond simple sensing, connecting and reporting, wearable apps need to be able to process user data independently and should act more than a remote tracking device on their body.
If you are thinking about building a wearable app, make sure to avoid building it on dumb sensors.
Avoid Starting With a Hardware Driven Approach
Seeing how rapidly technology is developing and evolving, it’s never a good idea to make apps that run great on current-gen hardware, but have no viability for next-gen that would come out in a matter of months.
It is quite easily possible that the current-gen wearable a company is making is only designed to cover a few early user cases for an immersive technology experience. Ergo, your app design process should be driven entirely by such use cases.
This way, a clear picture of what’s possible and what’s not, serves as the best guide for your entire development process.
Don’t Forget to Liaise With the Hardware and Software Maker
You cannot develop a perfect wearable app without interacting with the hardware makers. If the hardware and software don’t support the required functionality, how would the app work? Interacting with device manufacturers can also help narrow down the do’s and don’ts of the app development process.
The essence of developing effective wearable apps lies in understanding the direct connection between convenience and interactivity. In order to make wearable apps engaging enough, it is important to get the job done by a team of experts.
If you decide to take on the task of developing an app for a wearable device, make sure you know what you’re doing. Any fallout in designing an app for a wearable device might result in a failure to provide people with a good service layer.
Therefore, it is highly recommended to take the assistance of a niche app development company with years of experience of various design patterns and user interfaces.
Look for the one who will guide you through the development lifecycle. Their diversified experience with different platforms and work history with many clients gives them a special eye for what works and what doesn’t.
On top of that, once you know what you need, you can just hand them over the wearable device, lay it out in clear words about how you want it to be, and voila! Your wearable app will be ready without costing you a fortune.
So is your organization developing an application for wearable devices? What have you found to be the most challenging aspect of designing for such devices?
Let us know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!