How to create a wearable that users will love

Wearable technology tips

Wearable technology has come a long way since the days of strapping your iPod on your wrist or inserting a kinematic device in your shoe to get performance metrics during a run. Fitbit, which ranks high among available fitness trackers on the market, has experienced a dip in market share due to the advent of cheaper alternatives that have flooded the space. The market is primed for disruptors, so if you plan on launching a product, the key will be to develop an MVP that differentiates you from the rest of the crowd. Based on our experience, here are a few tips to consider:

Include Gamification

Before the advent of wearables, in order to compete you would have to register for a race or workout competition, which costs money and requires a lot of time. This is no longer the case, as users can connect with and compete with friends and family members, or brag about achievements on social media. Many companies are starting to realize the benefits of gamification, and more will be jumping on the bandwagon. According to Gallup, brands that successfully engage their customers realize 63 percent lower customer attrition, so it would be wise to inject competition into the user experience early on to stay ahead of the curve.

Make Partnerships

Finding new users in a crowded space is a challenge, which is why we recommend establishing partnerships to help build your user base. Many HR departments have wellness programs set up for employees, so reach out and offer your product at a volume discount. The HR departments provide a service to their employees and you gain users. This move is particularly strategic when you consider how many of these employees will continue using your application, even when they are not at work. Gone are the days where people want one phone for work, and one for personal use – people want to consolidate, which is good news for your application.

Eliminate Pain Points

Ten years ago, if you asked a fitness guru how many apps that person in using, the list would range from absurd to ridiculous. They could be using one app to map their runs, another to find workout plans, more to track food, sleep, meditation – the list goes on. The result is an annoying, manual process that takes up valuable time. Your application should eliminate this pain point by providing an all-in-one app that easily integrates with other software.

Aggregate Key Information

Microelectronics, sensors, and wireless data transmission can aggregate data from multiple sources, including digital health monitoring systems or electronic health records. Be transparent with your users about what information you are collecting, and make sure you secure personal data. Consumers are savvy about privacy, and you will lose users if you can’t build trust through security. In fact, you should consider HIPAA compliance as you develop your MVP, because the data recorded could be instrumental to your user’s healthcare treatments. Most applications on the market today are not designed in a way that makes information easy to share with doctors, so creating a platform that can be shared with doctors could greatly inform decisions about proper care.

According to a report by the IHS, the global market for wearable tech will rise to 210 million unit shipments and $30 billion in revenue by 2018 from 96 million unit shipments and $8.5 billion in revenue during 2012. Consumer demand is not going away, but if you want to exist in this space, your MVP will need to bring you immediate success. By hosting Design Studios and focus groups, you can hone in on the features that matter the most to consumers, and increase the likelihood of success.

If you’re interested in learning more about the emerging technologies driving the wearable industry, or Design Studios, reach out to us for a consultation.