Like many tech innovations that came before, wearables are often dismissed as shiny new toys that do little to actually improve our lives. To understand why they’re revolutionary, you have to look at the big picture and imagine their potential impact on multiple industries.
A wearable isn’t just an object you can bring with you anywhere — it’s one that makes you a disseminator in an exchange system. Wearables obviously provide you with information and services, but they also deliver data about the information and services you ask for back to the company that’s providing it. In short, the technology offers businesses the potential to collect data on the habits of each and every one of those customers that use it.
A real wearable product gives the user more time to spend on something else, creating value for the customer and increasing their loyalty to the brand. Before you start developing your app or device, you should also know that it won’t be worth making if it doesn’t take advantage of a wearable’s unique capabilities. If a smartphone can do it, there’s no reason not to just offer it as a smartphone app and stop wasting resources on a redundant project.
For example, imagine that you’re running late for work and you need to find your train platform. Your wearable knows where you are, what you need to do, and what your destination is by following your rhythm and repetitive experiences. The wearable can therefore tell you when your train is coming, and on what platform five minutes before you enter the station, eliminating the time drain between walking through the turnstiles and boarding your train. Has your smartphone ever done that for you?
Ultimately, these are the kind of experiences your wearable should be providing customers. Your goal should be to help users deal with a daily task without even having to ask for help, taking them from on-demand to automatic.
The technologies that power wearables and the Internet of Things are distinct, but they also definitely overlap: every wearable is involved in an IoT network. That being said, wearables can do more than the typical signature that allows smart objects to function because their software can be programmed to do virtually whatever you want. Wearables are basic objects with an added level of intelligence that’s simple enough for the user to program.
IoT-enabled objects, by contrast, are controlled by Application Program Interfaces (APIs), which aren’t quite as flexible as wearable programs. The Internet of Things is based in purely machine-to machine technology: the sole purpose is to provide input and output, creating a network of objects and a trove of data about them for a human administrator to access. APIs can often be adjusted by programmers, but they’re generally too complicated for the average person to tweak.
With its expertise in all things digital, Centric Digital can create new experiences that connect users to their environments, no matter what industry you’re in.
We do that by taking the data your users send through their wearables every day and using it to anticipate their needs even before they do. Your Apple Watch, for example, knows that you watch a specific show on the Food Network channel, perhaps one like “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives,” that indicates your preference for a certain type of food. Imagine checking your watch to see how long you have left before your reservation, only to discover that it’s already displaying some menu items that it thinks you’d like?
Centric Digital knows how to enable user experience with wearable technology. With a device that constantly tracks user behavior, you can convert your customers’ trains of actions or needs into capabilities and features. The companies that aren’t taking wearables seriously just don’t see the big picture yet — what about you?