May 09, 2014 Time to Get Ready for the Wearable Gold Rush?
Will your next mobile app hang out on users’ wrists? It’s a possibility worth contemplating, as Google and other tech giants are beginning to unveil the software needed to power sophisticated user experiences for next-generation smartwatches.
Google is allowing third-party developers to try out its Android Wear operating system, and the first watches using the new OS are expected to ship this summer. Android Wear will compete with Tizen, Samsung’s open source OS recently ported to wearables. With such platforms providing unified standards for development, the app ecosystems for smartwatches could grow rapidly.
Android Wear applications won’t be stand-alone software. Instead, they’ll act as companions to the apps on users’ smartphones, displaying notifications and enabling users to respond with touch actions or possibly voice commands. This opens up opportunities for firms to enhance their mobile offerings, by allowing users to interact with their software more easily and casually than ever before.
For instance, imagine a financial news service that sends alerts about breaking stories from your phone to your watch. You see a headline that intrigues you, so you swipe your watch’s face to see more details, then swipe again to save the article for reading on another device. For a certain target market, such functionality could contribute to a must-have experience.
This kind of user-device interaction could become routine in just a few years, especially now that developers have a platform like Android Wear to work with. Your company may want to start considering the possibilities for its mobile strategy.