As Breitenfeld opines, the current app experience is limiting the usefulness of wearable products. To be sure, the results of the survey conducted by Argus Insights points to major frustrations with syncing data and broken app experiences.
“Today’s hardware and embedded sensors do a wonderful job of collecting data, but without interpretation of this data to inspire action and promote change, the devices become dispensable,” she explained.
“Wearables are only as useful as the data they collect, and as hats, leggings, tattoos, socks, rings and countless other things begin to gather information, the sheer volume of data will amass quickly.”
Improving hardware to better collect data is all well and good, says Makenna, but true value comes from the interpretation of data.
“[As such], current applications are not enabling a seamless experience,” she concluded.
As we’ve previously discussed on Rambus Press, wearables must make the lives of users easier if they are to succeed. Otherwise, they may very well be viewed as mere distractions with limited, long-term value. Understandably, the current tendency is for companies and designer to explore what is possible with wearables, rather than what is really meaningful.
Moreover, quite a lot of the current buzz around the wearables market can be attributed to pent-up interest based on the promise of wearable devices, yet they are being powered by technology that is actually still evolving in size and performance.
However, to achieve market success, wearables will need to command less of the user’s attention. In fact, some industry insiders believe wearables will likely only reach their full potential when they achieve ‘disappearable’ status. Indeed, Nikolaj Hviid of the Munich-based Bragi GmbH envisions a wide range of use cases for future disappearables, including those related to the medical and fitness market.
“It’s more like a butler … [Disappearables] do some basic stuff that you really want, but there are deeper experiences in there,” he told Reuters.
Simply put, next-gen wearables will have to be capable of effectively extracting meaning from a vast amount of captured data with a minimal amount of (active) human input. There are various opinions about how this can be accomplished more effectively, although it is clear that smarter sensors and a more intuitive UX are both critical for a truly seamless wearable experience.