Wearable Apps Need Some Tailoring

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Wearables represent a huge emerging market for app developers but require significant tailoring in what data is captured and how it is presented, according to a new white paper.

Developers need to familiarize themselves with the emerging market for wearables expected to reach $53.2 billion in sales by 2019. A new white paper from the Application Developers Allianceaims to educate developers on the tools, data collection process, and opportunities.

Despite the fact that connected wearables are relatively novel for consumers, developers can take advantage of available software development kits and APIs to innovate without relying on larger companies. App developers don’t have to jump on the bandwagon of a major supplier.

"There is a larger community and a long-tail community working together with smaller companies on open source projects and they will be able to get traction with each other where the larger players cannot," said Jackson Bond, the co-founder and chief product officer at Relayr, a supplier of boards and software for the Internet of Things.

Collaboration of this nature will strengthen the compatibility and thus the value of the devices, making the data they collect more insightful. This is key because as one report estimates 75% of consumers with wearable devices stop using them within six months. The consumer fatigue is attributed to a lack of actionable data from the devices.

As the tools to build quality devices improve and the data collected becomes more useful, developers will benefit from a maturing industry – and a broader pool of opportunities.

"Venture capitalists want to have ‘quantified self’ [companies] in their portfolios…we're seeing significant investment," said Matthew Wong, an analyst at CB Insights quoted in an article posted by Cisco Systems.

Developers also can expect opportunities for wearables in the enterprise and other sectors. The 12-page report on the subject, "The Internet of Me: How Wearable Tech is Changing the Internet of Things," is available online here.