Yesterday’s wearables and smartwatches were centric on functionality by bridging accessibility to your smartphone. Their functional novelty was well received by consumers as they came out onto the market, and was available for consumers that use Andriod or Apple, with other smartphone manufacturers quickly following suit. Today’s smartwatches have separated themselves from other wearables by streamlining their core functionalities and opting for visual appeal by offering a myriad of strap colors, finishes, and face styles. John Edson of fastcodesign pointed out in his article that that “for the most part, the technology has been ubiquitous for over a century, and unimpressive for longer.” Tomorrow’s smartwatches will deliver both a more personalized look and a customizable interface through custom developed software that offers new abilities like Touch ID for card-free payment, data transfers, voice commands, and more!
It’s not a matter of when custom applications will be available for use on smartwatches, because it’s already happening, but which development platforms will offer the most for developers to utilize. Notification alerts, health monitoring, and other personal data aggregating software has been well-received among smartphone and wearable enthusiasts, but there is so much more that can be done with smartwatches in particular. Google, who acquired Nest, has launched Works with Nest to offer the ability for the smartwatch user to sync with and dictate the heating/cooling systems in your home. Apple has already offered Apple Pay as a service through its smartwatches and it utilizes Touch ID to make card payments in-store and in-applications as secure as possible.
The need for new applications on this platform is apparent, and the newfound freedom of choice of wearables and integration with consumers’ existing devices will surely drive accessibility and I think that it’s only a matter of time before retailers are actively participating in this new future of commerce.