Wearable technology is sure to disrupt the technology market in a new way. While wearable gadgets have existed since a few decades, it is only now that true innovation and thinking is going into it to develop wearable products that are truly useful.
Wearable computing technology doesn’t stand by itself; it is influencing the Internet of Things (IoT) in a new way. According to some recent research estimates, the sectors of healthcare and fitness have been wearable technology’s highest drivers. In fact, it is expected that by the next four years, there will be over 130 million units of wearable technological devices sold. Today, players like Nike Inc., Fitbit Inc., Google, Samsung, Adidas AG and Jawbone have been investing highly in wearable technology. In fact, another report by Gartner predicts that as much as 50% of app interactions will be through wearable technology by 2017.
In fact, the Gartner report also suggests that health and fitness will be the main sectors to drive in wearable technology and the revenue from the apps of this niche will increase to $5 billion by 2016 from the present $1.6 billion. The research by Nielson also states that fitness bands have been the most popular wearable devices till date (with share of 61%) while smart watches and mHealth devices were the other two major wearable tech devices sold.
Just to help you walk through the present wearable devices, here is what people are talking about today.
The Google Glass
Talked about as the coolest wearable tech ever made, this Google invention will be out for the general public soon and is a wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display (OHMD). You can take pictures, videos as well as interact with a number of apps and can respond to voice actions. Google Glass presents a new way for app developers to make apps. Remember, if you jump into making apps for Google Glass first, you will be the one making the most profits.
Samsung is making its own smart watches with the Samsung Gear 2, Gear 2 New and Gear Fit. The smart watches are connected to Samsung phones and users can receive notifications as well as make and receive calls from the smart phone. There is also a built in heart rate sensor and several S Health features. There is also the pedometer thrown in.
In fact, Motorola too has come out with the Moto 360 that runs on Google’s own OS for smart phones, the Android Wear. The Moto 360 looks cool and stylish and responds to the voice commands of the user as well. Just try telling it ‘OK Google’ to wake it up. Of course, it has all the other functions of a normal smart watch as well.
Sensor Technologies and mHeatlh Devices
Companies like Jawbone and Fitbit inc. have created mHealth wearable devices. For instance, the Jawbone UP is a first gen activity tracker. The tracker can track a person’s sleep habits, their eating habit and their daily activity. Fitbit’s activity tracker too helps measure the quality of sleep, the steps walked as well as other important fitness metrics. These devices mostly have wireless synchronization too with Bluetooth.
Today, Google has launched the Google Glassware marketplace. Pebble has its own app store too. Developers can design apps for both the Google Marketplace or for Pebble. With wearable app software developing by the day, we can expect that enterprises will soon be looking to make more wearable apps. The trick situation though is finding app developers with the unique skill sets require as wearable computing is a bit different from conventional computing.