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Designing for wearables: tips & challenges ahead

It is estimated that by 2019 two out five internet users will own a wearable device



The introduction of wearables has expanded the reach of mobile devices. Research reports indicate that the wearables market will be worth 19 Bn USD in 2018, five times its value five years prior.

This booming market like any other industry, possess its own challenges as well. Function, Design, and user-friendliness are some of the challenges put forward. While developing for a wearable product, consider the following key products:

  • Right Platform Selection and API
    With numerous tools and APIs are available in the market, it is imperative to select the right platform depending on the need. Even if there are multiple versions for different devices available in the market, your end user will demand a single app that is easily accessible with every device and has a short response time. Also, would want to make sure the app is compatible with the various devices.
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  • User-centric Design and Interface
    Owing to its small size, wearable design poses numerous challenges. This is one of the most important factors to consider as the user interacts with the wearables in numerous different ways. Considering this, the focus should be towards streamlining and enhancing the user experience along with the restricted visible physical space available.
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  • Data Breach
    Still, in the development phase, security is the biggest concern for Wearable Technology. They need variable third party tools to be connected with the mobile apps available on the internet enabled devices making it a key concern. With this, the developers need to consider all the security challenges and make sure that sensitive and crucial information is not compromised and is protected.
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  • Functionality and Features
    Ease of use and mobility is the heart of any wearable product. Prior to the development phase, a feature rich set of functionalities needs to be designed in order to add value to the end users by understanding the end user’s requirements.
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  • Frequent updates well-versed with Latest Technology
    Launch of a new wearable product is not new. But, for it to sustain in the long run and meet users’ expectations, the product needs to be updated at regular intervals.A market centric wearable app can only sustain when developers consider regular app updates.
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  • Battery Consumption and Memory Space
    Each app consumes some amount of battery life and memory space. A user would prefer applications that consumes less battery and memory space. A wearable app should consume less power and memory with better performance efficiency.
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  • Rigorous Testing
    The performance of an application is an important metric to measure its success. This is achievable through rigorous testing of all the possible functionalities and with it’s compatible devices. With users looking for user-centric solutions and businesses looking for more efficiency in wearable products, efficiency is the major deliverable in this market.

With numerous factors to be considered during any app development, one also faces numerous challenges. Some of the challenges, you may face are:

  • Wearables v/s Handheld Devices
    The challenges for wearable devices and handheld devices are fundamentally same. Wearable devices simply highlighted them. Considerations for battery life, screen size and memory space remain at the core of development for the wearables. Designed for quick interactions and information, wearables have different usage design as compared to handheld devices.
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  • Fragmentation in Wearables
    Fragmentation is a major challenge for wearable app development which occurs when a combination of software and hardware fail to provide a consistent experience. There are a plethora of combinations available to the users today. With numerous operating systems available, there is no solution currently for this issue.
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  • Absence of APIs
    While designing for API, development is done by implementing each feature for each device separately. This leads to difficulties while synchronization. Each added device involves same repeated work.

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