The Apple Watch has grabbed the most headlines so far, but the new Apple gadget represents just a small drop in a very large tech tidal wave heading our way. According to IDC.com, global wearable shipments will likely hit 112 million units by 2018.
What this means for mobile app companies can be summarized in one word: revolution.
And, just like it has been doing for everything else in the last 10 years, Apple is leading the way with the Apple Watch.
iGeeksBlog.com thinks the Apple Watch is a great idea because, among other things, it makes Apple's SIRI service immensely better, it's safer to carry (and harder to lose), and it means less time wasted on the phone. And mobile apps that design themselves around the Apple Watch's Star Trek-like SIRI voice interaction could go in some interesting directions.
But, as fantastic as the Apple Watch might be, it is only the beginning. Here are some other fascinating (and jaw-dropping) wearable gadgets that could transform design potential for mobile apps and, ultimately, change our world.
Feels Good to Look Good: Mobile Apps for "Smart" Clothing?
Companies are developing smart clothes. The most obvious application, physical fitness, is already well underway. Companies make smart shirts that measure your heart rate, breathing rate, steps taken, and other physical actions, and the shirt automatically sends it to a physical fitness app on your phone that compiles your fitness data.
MakoInvent observed the next step in smart clothes:
Apart from smartwatches, there are also wearables in the form of fashion...clothes such as Ralph Lauren’s Smart Polo Shirt. These devices are being tested for the possibility to assist field-based or remote working employees, through ‘bring your own wearable’ (BYOW).
Employee uniforms with smart technology embedded could produce a limitless array of possibilities, from on-the-job safety to job training and performance monitoring, for mobile apps -- especially, as MakoInvent noted, for employees who spend most of their time in the field or in remote locations.
Myo Armband (For Everyone Who Has Always Wanted to Be a Jedi)
If you're a Star Wars fan, how many times have you pretended -- either as a joke as an adult or in serious play as a kid -- to use the Force on something? Every person who has seen Star Wars has secretly wished they could move a giant vehicle with their little hand -- Yoda-style.
Thalmic Labs has brought that wish a step closer to fulfillment. Although no one will be moving giant spaceships into the air with a hand gesture -- at least not yet -- their new wearable gadget, the Myo Armband, can move just about everything else that is important in our digital worlds.
They've designed an armband that tracks your muscle movement on your arm, hand, and fingers with incredible precision. The armband then translates your gestures into commands that can operate any Bluetooth-equipped computer or smart device. You can then control any device you already own just like Tony Starks controlled his Jarvis computer interface in the Iron Man movies.
So what's it like to use it?
Mashable.com writer Lance Ulanoff tried the Myo Armband and explained his experience:
In one instance...I controlled a Keynote presentation. I would wake Myo, wave my arm to the right or left to change slides and then, because Myo was set to sleep after two seconds, wake it up again to gesture to the next slide.
The more I did all this, the more adept I became at all kinds of gestures. One of my favorites was the demonstration where I turned on Myo, clenched my fist and then slowly turned my hand one way or the other to control the temperature of an on-screen thermostat.
Just like the arena of smart clothing, creating apps for mobile devices or computers that interact with Myo Armbands creates new frontiers -- and new challenges -- for mobile app companies.
And that's where we come in. Our highly dedicated, talented team of engineers loves challenges. If you have some wild ideas for mobile app creation -- whether or not it involves wearables -- contact us and see how we can help you make those dreams reality.