As smart devices have penetrated almost every sphere of life, they have found their place on the human body as well. Worn as body accessories, wearable smart devices now come in all shapes and forms ranging from activity trackers and smart watches to smart jewellery and even smart clothing. When wearable tech looks to be in the process of creating its own ecosystem much like its big brother IoT, the need for developing dedicated wearable tech apps cannot be taken lightly.
Businesses Already Leveraging Wearable Tech
Having foreseen the wealth of opportunities furnished by wearables, industries have started to tap into this technology with innovative applications. Let’s look at some of the most popular ones.
Wearable devices like Biosensors and BP/ECG/Glucose monitors help healthcare professionals remotely monitor patient conditions and provide consistent care. In some cases, wearable health monitoring devices could help save lives, detecting indications of life-threatening events like strokes, and enabling physicians to provide fast treatments, just in time. The latest generation of smart healthcare devices, powered by algorithms, are capable of alerting users when any irregularities are detected in their biological data, circumventing the need for being constantly monitored by healthcare staff.
Widely known as Activity Trackers, smart wrist bands and smart watches provide the means to track and monitor various metrics during different activities like walking, jogging, exercising and even day-to-day tasks. Calorie consumption, walking or running distance, quality of sleep, and heart rate are some of the metrics tracked by such devices.
Messaging & Entertainment
With built-in messaging capabilities of smart watches, users can send and receive messages even when they do not have their smartphones on them. Smart watches also support music and podcast streaming services for some light entertainment while commuting or exercising.
AR/VR capabilities in smart glasses have a plethora of possible applications in education. Additional information on study materials, AR demonstrations of complex concepts, taking quick photographs and videos of educational material—the possibilities are virtually limitless.
The Finance industry has also come up with useful applications of wearables. Using embedded NFC chips in smart watches and fitness trackers, users can now make contactless payments at physical outlets.
Besides the most popular wearable devices—Fitness trackers, Smart watches and Smart glasses—a few other novel wearable devices have also penetrated the market.
Critical Elements of Wearable App Development
For developing and launching successful wearable apps, you must consider a few important aspects.
In its early days, wearable devices only featured Companion Apps with limited functionalities and Push Notifications, both heavily reliant on smartphones. Although Push Notifications for scheduled events, calls or exercise sessions remain an integral part of wearable apps, wearable devices now support full-fledged Standalone Apps that can connect to the internet via Wi-Fi, without any smartphone intervention. Most businesses today opt for a combination of standalone and companion apps, often developing companion apps for existing mobile apps. You must decide the suitable app type for your project from the get go, in order to save time and resources.
UI/UX, Navigation & Interactivity
Due to small screen sizes in wearable devices, the UI layouts in wearable apps need to make judicious use of screen-real estate. Utilizing the unique features in some devices like the rotating bezel in the Samsung gear series or the digital crown on the Apple watch can make in-app navigation more seamless. Voice commands using AI assistants, and gesture interactivity can also give your app an additional edge. Partnering with a proficient user experience design company can help you achieve great results in this area.
Though many wearable apps are meant to provide the same service as their smartphone counterparts, integrating concurrent trends in wearable apps can open newer doors.
Many business operations can be enhanced by integrating wearable apps with connected devices and sensors using APIs, enabling seamless control. For a successful integration, you must focus on finalizing useful and relevant data for the proper functioning of the app, followed by using SoC (system-on-a-chip) for developing a native interface, embedded with multiple sensors and actuators.
In contrast to mobile apps, which can be cross-platform, wearable apps are platform-native. The tech stack, APIs and SDKs for your wearable app development project will depend on the platform you choose to work with. Here are the language and IDE requirements for some common wearable platforms:
- Android Wear: Java / Kotlin | Android Studio
- watchOS: Swift / Objective-C | Xcode
- Google Glass: Java | Android Studio
Wearable apps collect and store a lot of personal data on smartphones and cloud servers. To ensure the security of this data from leaks or malware, you should look into the latest cloud computing security trends.
The design of the app needs to be easy and simple, leading to the enhancement of your app’s interactivity with its users through succinct and relevant data presentation that does not confuse them. Before jumping right to the development and app launch, making major investments in terms of time and money, testing your ideas with a proper prototype design is crucial.
It’s only a matter of time before wearable apps become as ubiquitous as mobile apps. The relative novelty of this domain, along with continuous advancements in wearable devices leaves a lot of room for innovation on the part of app developers. Moreover, it’s often more cost effective to develop wearable apps that provide added benefits to existing mobile apps.
However, that very novelty means that the successful execution of ingenious ideas and use cases for wearable apps would require the helping hand of expert professionals.
At Josh Software, we use our expertise of mobile app development technologies and latest innovations in the field to create intuitive wearable apps that empower businesses and their users.
Turn your winning Wearable App idea into reality, with Josh Software.
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