Since BI Intelligence’s early coverage on the wearables market, we have always taken the stance that wearables won’t be all-encompassing personal computing devices — at least, not at first.
Rather, wearables will serve as robust extensions to existing mobile devices and will fill certain niche use cases. In many cases, they will work unobtrusively in the background (think about a fitness band counting steps or a smart watch that provides reminders only at certain hours).
They will be out of the way but recording data and providing information when people need it.
In a recent report, BI Intelligence zeroed in on the wearable apps ecosystem, looking at the fragmentation that is holding back app development and pinpointing a few “killer apps” that could make the devices truly compelling.
For now, the wearables apps ecosystem is minimally stocked, and this is holding back wearables as a whole — mainstream consumers still don’t see a real purpose served by wearables. But recent developments point in the direction of which wearable apps might succeed.
Here’s what wearables app will have to accomplish:
- The most successful apps will fill very specific needs, and allow people to do things that simply weren’t possible before the advent of wearables.
- Productivity apps are a promising area for smart watches. One of the more beneficial features of Evernote, for example, is that your notes and content will be saved and synced across a multitude of devices. For Pebble smart watch users with the Evernote app, all of their content and checklists are right on their wrist. You can check your shopping list without having to awkwardly reach for your phone.
- On mobile, consumers use the camera, navigation, and gaming apps on their smartphones and tablets most frequently, according to a survey by Accenture of about 6,000 worldwide consumers. They are also heavily interested in e-books, voice and music recorders, streaming radio, and streaming video apps.
- Certain categories will work better with different wearable devices. Camera apps, for example, may be best suited for smart eyewear, like Google Glass.
- GPS navigation, or turn-by-turn directions, may fit better on the wrists of drivers or walkers. E-books may never make the crossover to wearables.
The full report on the Wearables Apps Ecosystem:
- Navigates through the current state of wearable apps markets and the devices surrounding them.
- Examines the successes and failures developers have faced in early wearable app development.
- Identifies some of the most popular mobile apps and outlines their wearable crossover potential.
- Pinpoints wrist-worn devices and their companion health and fitness apps as early leaders in the space.
- Considers the scale of Apple’s and Google’s existing mobile platforms and qualifies their potential to take over the entire wearables market.
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