What is happening now?
2013 has been the year of the wearable device. The market is really hotting up and a lot of different products are coming out. Wearable devices are no longer for your IT techie geeks out there. Businesses are now investing some of there R&D into turning there product into a stylish fashion accessory. This has made wearable devices stylish and made them not seen as just a IT techie must have.
You might ask yourself now, where does this momentum come from? A lot of this wearable device goodness has come from crowd funding websites like:
These sites have allowed what were just concepts and prototypes to get the kind of funding they needed to become a commercially viable and sellable product. As well as provide backers feedback on the progress of what they have backed. A good example of this is the second most highly crowd-funded project of all time as of now the “Pebble‘ which got $10 million from kickstarter. The “Pebble” is a smart watch which uses bluetooth on your Android or iPhone to:
- Control music
- Upload custom watch faces
- Integrate with native Apps
- Provide Caller ID and Message notifications
A picture of Pebble controlling music
The next question is where is all this tech going?
A lot of the wearable devices that are coming out to market at the moment are focused mainly at the health and fitness industry. They allow people to wear devices on there body which can track:
- How they exercise
- distance travelled
- calories burned
- Monitor how long and how well you sleep
A good example of this is Fitbit which recently received $43 million in venture capital funding to further grow there digital fitness tracker and health devices product catalog beyond just Fitbit.
A picture of Fitbit device
But we are starting to see a lot of devices coming out which are focused more in the visionary area (Google glass, Meta glasses) and are using concepts like AR to overlay relevant information to the consumer. Examples of this are:
- Overlaid navigation
- Virtual tourism
- POV (Point of View) videography and photography
- Information Overlay
Finally what can you as a developer do with these devices?
A lot of these devices don’t necessarily have a software ecosystem accompanying them. Instead the businesses behind them are providing SDK’s for developers (in most cases free) to create there own applications or integrate into existing ones which can easily tap into the features of the devices they are building. This means they can focus on the core product and allow the developer community out there to create there software ecosystem for them and build some interesting software based concepts utilising the technology.
You may ask what types of languages will I need to learn to develop for these devices. Just a few are:
- Unity 3D
As you can see because you are getting potentially to such a low level in some cases you will need to brush up on your C and C++ coding abilities. This just means the usual advantages that other languages give you may not be able to be enabled on such a small and potentially not very powerful device.
Well that is a wrap for the article. If you have anymore questions around Wearable Devices or how any devices which exist on the market now could be integrated into your business somehow. Don’t hesitate in getting in contact with me.