Posted by Mike Schneider
According to CCS Insight, the Wearables market is to be worth $25 billion by 2019. While the market is huge and continuous to grow rapidly, the competition is also growing and so is the need to differentiate your device.
Many wearable device manufacturers create products that extend the mobile experience rather than replace it. Most smartwatches and smart glasses fall in this category, establishing persistent Bluetooth connections to become a second screen for users’ smartphones. In order to make the device indispensable, wearable manufacturers have the ultimate vision to build smartwatches and smart glasses that are replacement, not a mere accessory for smart phones. These devices will deliver everything a smartphone can, directly to their users’ glasses or wrists, eliminating the disruptive behavior of pulling a device out of their pockets.
One of the most forward-looking leave-your-phone-behind devices is the Neptune Pine smartwatch. It packs a lot of connectivity beyond Bluetooth into its 66.0 x 53.5 x 14.2 mm body: Wi-Fi, GPS, and cellular networks. It’s equipped with everything a standard Android device needs, so it’s compatible with many Android apps that rely on native location features. True differentiation in the market helped the Neptune Pine reach 8x its Kickstarter crowdfunding goal.
There’s a race to gaining market share because most developers first and foremost care that their software gets used. If you’re a smart glasses company that equips its device with a camera, you’ll likely want Instagram to build on your platform. Your target users are Early Adopter Instagram addicts, and your success hinges on appealing to their photo sharing habits.
If you don’t offer a standard native set of features at the device level, including location, Instagram will not be able to geotag photographs on your platform. Lacking native location prevents Instagram from building a consistent experience for their users, and they will likely dedicate their resources elsewhere.
Developers will flock to wearable device platforms that allow their users to have a consistent experience with the apps they already use in their everyday lives. Alex Cabo, General Manager of Nestwork says, “3rd party apps play a crucial role in the industry, as they provide the device with an added value which sometimes becomes the decision maker for the user when purchasing the product. The more features the wearable provides to the users, the more valuable the device is.”
It is critical that smartwatches and smart glasses empower 3rd party app developers with platforms that have the same capabilities as smartphones--including native location that can be provided with Skyhook’s SDK.