Posted by Ashley Osgood
One of the greatest challenges of wearables - and maybe, with any self-improvement program - is keeping up with it. They tend be be really cool when you first get them, but lose their appeal when you hit your first snag in figuring something out, they break, or you just forget to put them on one day. With 1 out of every 2 people abandoning wearables 6 months after purchasing them, keeping users engaged with your device and staying out of your junk drawers is something the wearable market struggles with. So, where do you start?
Personally, I’ve been looking at wearables for a while, and just hadn’t made the $100+ plunge yet. There are so many benefits to your health, and having a cool technology behind your behavior to help you record, document, and improve that is appealing to many data people. So when a colleague mentioned the Lumo device in conversation, I looked into it: Lumo’s primary function is to help its users improve their posture, while documenting their total number of steps taken every day. Being a tall slouchy person, and with a price point of $79, I thought it was a good way to get into wearable devices.
The device came with a manual, but I didn’t really look at it. I installed the app, which walked me through (briefly) how the device worked and how to set it up (with a video), sync it, and align it properly. Other than having a device that actually works, walking users through how to engage with it in a simple way really helps them to get started quickly and easily.
Every morning, the app sends an alert reminding me to put on my wearable. It’s a simple alert on the home screen, but very effective by just giving you the reminder that you need to make it a part of your day. After all, what use is a wearable if you don’t remember to wear it?
Another helpful notification I get from the app is when the wearable is low on battery and needs a charge. While the Lumo battery lasts about 5 days, it's something that you can forget to do without a reminder. Again, simple ways to foresee user abandonment with reminders and suggestions are great ways to keep the user engaged.
Now here at Skyhook, we always like to think about the future. Stepping back from what Lumo is doing right today, we can’t help ourselves when it comes to envisioning the next generation of features and functionality. After my personal experience with Lumo specifically, I can envision a few instances where they may be able to take their device capabilities to the next level:
If Lumo had location for their wearable or app, it would be able to add that information to my trends data display. For example: during my day, where was my posture the best? Having some sort of map that showed where I walked overlaid with this type of information - maybe with color - showing where my posture was the best would also be cool.
This would also help users jog their memories on when and where their posture was best. For example, on my walk to the train, maybe my posture started off great but declined as I got closer to my destination and I forgot to focus on it. If I can remember that, this may help me improve the next day - especially if a reminder pops up halfway during my walk to keep up the posture.
Enabling location would also allow Lumo to apply user-based context to my individual experience. Maybe they notice that I spend a large amount of time - around 9am-5pm - in one location. They could prompt me to label this location as “Work”, and analyze my behavior at that location vs. when I go to the gym or if I’m at home.
Based on this information, they could also recommend that I deploy coaching sessions during the time and places that my posture is not the best. Another reason wearables tend to be abandoned is that after a while, health data plateaus - and users get bored looking at the same metrics day after day. Keeping users engaged with another level of information - like recommendations based on contextual information - could help solve this problem.
One of the greatest features of Lumo is it’s simplicity - having something that’s easy to set up, use, and navigate through is a great way to keep users engaged. Adding a location feature could help deliver dynamic experiences based on user context, which could help extend the life and vitality of the wearable and its app in its users everyday lives.