According to The Wearable Future report by PwC published in October, 22% of American adults already own a wearable device. The adoption rate is already matching that of tablets two years ago and is quickly expected to rise. What will the wearables industry do next year to try to win our hearts and minds?
Not completely unexpectedly the launch to watch next year, if you pardon the pun, will of course be the Apple Watch. It’s not the first time Apple has launched an ‘old’ technology but in the process been successful at redefining the whole category and making themselves seem like the first; think mp3 players, smartphones and tablets. We can therefore with certain statistical accuracy predict that Apple will do it once again next year. Another interesting watch project we are likely to learn more about next year is the FES developed by Sony which was originally disguised as your regular crowdfunded project. Or of course, will.i.am's Puls as launched at Salesforce's Dreamforce event.
We will also see more developments in arguably the most developed wearables segment, the health tracker. They have evolved from being a fancy step counter to include artificial intelligence with personalised coaching feedback. I’m one of the first in the UK that have gotten hold of the exercise sensor Moov which raised $1 million in two weeks on Kickstarter. It’s a shapeshifting device that does different jobs depending on what I’m doing; running, cycling, doing laps in the pool, practicing my swing, etc.
Depending on your point of view, the most ancient or absolutely newest type of wearable tech will be clothes. Everything from flashing LED’s in our cycling gear to accessories that charges our devices. Hövding is a collar that contains an invisible airbag bicycle helmet that deploys in the event of an accident. The unit contains accelerometers that detect unusual movements and deploy the airbag if the movement patterns match the profile of a crash. Each helmet also contains a "Black Box" that records the accelerometer data 10 seconds before a deployment.
With regards to key take aways for business leaders, Deborah Bothun at PwC concluded, “Businesses must evolve their existing mobile-first strategy to now include the wearable revolution and deliver perceived value to the consumer in an experiential manner”.
Check out the Salesforce Wearables demo to learn about the fastest route to turning your ideas into wearable technology.