The first wearable computer was invented in the 1960s. Over the last decades, several devices modernized wearable technology and earned a steady following among consumers. Be it healthcare, fitness, or entertainment, wearable technology is gaining popularity in many sectors.
Emerging as the most sought-after and demanded technology, wearable technology will drive the future generation of business. Many organizations are leveraging the vast popularity of wearable devices and extending their services.
This blog will discover the comprehensive guide of wearable app development with its use cases, development process, wearable device types, and development cost.
All You Need to Know About Wearable App Development
Wearable devices have motion sensors that track information on a real-time basis and sync your daily activities via Wi-Fi networks or Bluetooth connectivity. Its screen size differs from mobile apps, and the hardware is designed to perform unique functionality.
Wearable app development is the process of developing apps that interlink data with wearable devices and deliver relevant outcomes accordingly. Wearable apps function based on the data retrieved from the sensors on wearable devices and sync that data with your device to provide productive results.
Wearable devices are popular among people, and this technology is enabling smart wearable app development using Internet of Things (IoT).
What are the Different Types of Wearable Devices?
Smartwatches are the commonly known wearable devices, with Apple having a significant market with 52.5%, followed by an 11% share of Samsung. Smartwatches are extremely popular among users because they take care of users’ numerous daily tasks like sending and reading messages, showing alerts & notifications, setting up alarms, tracking physical activity, and much more.
Today, wearable devices are widely used for fitness and healthcare app development. Fitness bands are the wearable devices used for monitoring physical activity, such as steps taken, calories burned, heart rate, sleep cycle, and more.
Fitness trackers like FitBit are the most common example in this category that can track daily workout progress, monitor pulse rate, etc.
The hearable devices are the advancement of headphones and earbuds. They are incorporated with microphones and speakers, and hearable devices respond in audio after receiving the voice input. An excellent example of a hearable device is Apple AirPods Pro.
These devices are designed for various purposes like wireless transmission, communication objectives, medical monitoring, fitness tracking, and more.
HMD provides a unique user experience via augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) technology. VR headsets are the typical example of head-mounted displays devices. These wearable devices are a little heavier than the usual devices.
VR Headsets like Oculus can provide information superimposed over reality or completely immerse the user in virtual reality.
One of the most advanced wearable device types is eyewear. Wearable devices like eyewear represent the next phase of technology where devices can be utilized seamlessly and easily portable.
Eyewear is excellent for providing information to mobile workers, eliminating the additional disturbance in the workflow. It integrates the data targeted on sight, like a landscape or a product. The most common examples of smart eyewear are Ray-Ban, Amazon Echo Frames, and Spectacles3 by Snapchat.
Top 6 Use Cases of Wearable Technology
The wearable apps demand is high in the healthcare industry. As per Fortune Business Insights, the global wearable medical devices market size is exhibiting a CAGR of 26.4% and is expected to reach USD 195.57 billion by 2027. Wearables can measure heart rate, body temperature, calories burned, skin temperature, etc., and provide data to the integrated app.
In healthcare, Wearable apps enable collecting, analyzing, and transmitting personal health data in real-time. These apps can be used to send real-time health report notifications and offer health recommendations. Simultaneously, it can keep track of a patient’s health and provide insights to doctors and patients.
Wearable apps can be used to remind patients to take their medication as per prescription, track the patient’s progress, monitor heart rate, and more.
Another prominent use case of wearable devices is a fitness tracker. It aims to track the user’s physical activity like steps, energy consumption, physical activity time, and quality of physical activity (e.g., moderate or vigorous activity). These devices provide alerts or suggested actions as per the retrieved and analyzed data.
Wearable activity trackers like fitness bands and smartwatches are specific examples of fitness wearable devices. The sensors on the backside of the band and smartwatch track your pulse rate, physical activities, steps walked, etc.
Wearable apps provide various benefits to the events business, such as activity tracking, better connections with exhibitors, enhancing event engagement, navigation, and more. All of this was possible due to the real-time data gathering of the event.
Wearable apps on wristbands can be used to measure steps, messages, directional guidance and events details, and social interaction. Smart badges are the specific example in this category that offers the ability to store valuable attendee information via wearable apps. Additionally, QR code-scanning can be used for attendee authentication at entrances or booths.
Furthermore, real-time data collection can be used as feedback and improve the event. Also, wearable apps can keep track of upcoming events with alerts and notifications.
One of the significant use cases of wearable apps is navigation. The Navigation Wearable app like Google Maps provides directions on your wearable device and enhances the user experience with features like voice output, customizable vibration & themes, multiple languages support, and speedometer. Google’s navigation services can be used for outdoor pursuits like skiing, mountain walking, driving, cycling, sailing, and off-road running.
Smart Wearable apps are the complete package for fitness enthusiasts with features like Gyro effects, motion sensors, and compasses. With these features, app users can measure total calories burnt, speed, distance traveled, etc.
The widespread application of wearable technology is streaming services. Wearable devices like smartwatches support music and podcast streaming services while commuting, running, or exercising.
The wearable apps like Spotify, YouTube music, and Apple music are popular music and podcast apps that have a version for wearable devices. You can go for a walk or a jog while listening to your favorite music or podcast on your in-ear devices for some light entertainment. Spotify also provides features that users can control right from the wrist and their smartwatches, such as creating a playlist, sharing them with friends, and finding new music.
Utility apps are the type of mobile app that we use more often on a daily basis. Such as Flashlight, Weather, Calendars, Reminders, or Calculator. These apps usually serve a single function and then put it away. Most of these apps are pre-installed on your device.
With wearable utility apps, you can perform quick tasks like keeping a note, using a calculator, reading messages, or setting a reminder. You can even decline or accept calls, send quick replies, and receive alert messages or notifications regarding any upcoming event on wearable devices utility apps.
Steps to Build Wearable Apps
Define the App Objective
The initial approach for developing a wearable app is to clear the project’s objective. Plan what to include in the app, what the app should do, how it should look, and so on.
Decide if you want a standalone application or create wearable apps with a companion to mobile apps. You can map out all the possibilities and functionalities that seem feasible for your wearable app that can clear your app idea.
Conduct Market and Competitor Research
There are various wearable apps available in the market that might have similar functionality to your application. You can research to collect the data to ensure your app adds value to your user’s life and make you stand out from the competitors. You can find out your target audience and their demand regarding the app with proper research.
Pick the Suitable List of Features
Find out what functionality you should develop in your app? Create a proper roadmap of the features you want to include in your wearable app. You can categorize the app based on free, premium, or in-app purchases. The type of wearable devices you will deploy your app also affects its features and functionalities.
Choose the Tech Stack
You need to decide on multiple technology stacks for development like platform, IDE, and programming language. It can also vary as per the app development process, either native or hybrid.
Wearable apps use data to improve their functioning and provide relevant outcomes. Motion sensors, GPS, audio/ video streaming, and SIRI are some of the standard functionality that you can embed in your wearable app.
MVP and Prototyping
Wearable app developers need to consider user-friendliness, app functionalities, and app interface while developing the app. Thus, they need prototype development services to design the app prototype to reflect its purpose. Also, it should be clear how the app interacts with the users.
If you are too confused about the app functionality or are unsure of the app objective, you can develop an MVP to validate your app idea.
Development, Testing, and Final Launch
The development process will begin after developing the prototype based on the decided features and deciding which platform to target. After creating an app module, you can test the app for potential errors or bugs.
All you need to do is submit your app to the app marketplaces and ensure it reaches the target audience with your promotional activities.
Your app development process doesn’t end here as you have to maintain your app functionality by adding new features and fixing bugs.
Wearable Apps: Future Aspects
Several industries are leveraging wearable app technology advancement. This technology helps improve customer satisfaction, facilitate mobility, and improve efficiency. At the same time, it creates immersive experiences that are thoroughly enjoyable to the customer.
The impact of wearable technology is entailing innovations like Voice Commands, Controlling Gesture Settings, Handheld App Display, Push Notifications, and more. Furthermore, the Internet of Things or IoT redefines wearable apps in terms of connectivity.
As per Statista, the number of connected wearable devices worldwide is predicted to reach more than one billion by the end of 2022. Also, the shipment of wearable devices will increase by 45%.
The popularity of smartwatches is dominating the market. We see its use on a daily basis for tracking physical activities, location with GPS, monitoring heart rate, and more. It adds value to users’ lives, which is the significant reason its popularity is not going to stop anytime soon.
How Much Will it Cost to Develop a Wearable App?
Estimating wearable app development costs as a whole depends on several parameters. First, you need to define the specific app type to help determine the app features, app development process, platform, and wearable app technology stack. Those are some of the common factors that you need to look for in the cost breakdown of wearable apps.
Other than that, the wearable app development services you hire modify the working hours and delivery period, impacting the development cost.
Furthermore, you would need to consider various things while evaluating the cost of building a wearable app.
- App Design: The app’s features vary as per the design, influencing the development cost.
- App Platform: The design and functionality of Android apps will vary from the iOS, modifying the price.
- App Testing: App testing is higher in wearable applications than the mobile app testing cost.
- Technology Stack: Your technology stack changes based on the platform, affecting the cost of building the wearable app. You should hire mobile app developers that keep you in the loop of the development process.
- Location: The location of the hired development agency is also a primary factor that influences the development cost.
Wearable technology is continuously growing and coming with unique innovations. This technology has various benefits, but it also contains equally corresponding challenges. However, as the businesses are witnessing the bright prospect for wearables, they are willing to take chances and dive into wearable devices app development.
Sparx IT Solutions build versatile and robust wearable apps that showcase optimal performance. We provide rich user experiences in the apps we make for wearable devices. Our tailored wearable apps are user-centric and run flawlessly on wearable devices.
If you have a wearable app development idea, reach out to us. Our developers put together their tech expertise and experience to develop wearable applications.