Wearables are the future

There are many people out there that are quick to dismiss wearables as a fad or a gimmick. This is ironic, given that many of those that are against wearable tech probably said the same things about the smartphones that they’re likely using at this very second. Wearable technology is capable of fulfilling responsibilities, but it is disruptive in the sense that people might still be unsure of how it is valuable.

Negative sentiments are likely to dissipate in the relatively near future, however. According to ZDNet contributor Liam Tung, a recent study from Ovum found that wearable shipments could reach 50 million units in 2015, thanks in no small part to the impending release of Apple Watch. This signifies a great number of people who are ready to see how wearables can improve their lives – both in the personal and professional sense.

As more consumers begin to adopt wearable technology, businesses are going to have some significant opportunities laid out in front of them. Customer and employee engagement alike are undoubtedly going to be effected by these new devices. As they have more positive experiences with headsets and smartwatches, they are going to be expecting enterprise support in a number of new ways. In order to successfully capitalize off of this development, custom software solutions are going to be critical.

Wearable tech has much to offer enterprises
While much of the hype regarding wearables has surrounded consumer use cases, the enterprise is already expected to see a powerful boost from these devices as more employees bring them to work. According to TMCnet contributor Carrie Majewski, the enterprise is expected to see a significant amount of disruption thanks to the arrival of wearable tech. A number of different industries are slated to see some big assistance from wearables – namely when talking about professions that can benefit from hands-free interfaces.

“Perhaps no industry stands to benefit greater from wearable technology then field service workers, like a cellphone tower technician,” Majewski wrote. “Such knowledge workers can rely on the technology to communicate equipment malfunctions and remedy problems in real-time as opposed to waiting days for the company to be notified of a problem.”

Doctors are people who will definitely benefit from this kind of functionality. According to ITProPortal contributor Jamie Hinks, Google Glass gained attention in the healthcare sector thanks to augmented reality. Being able to look at a patient’s x-ray overlaid on their body can be a huge help and also allow for increased eye contact.

The importance of software
These new devices represent a great deal of change for businesses, but they are not the only part of the equation. Like other machines, software is an essential component for wearable devices. This was something that many organizations didn’t consider when smartphones first arrived in the workplace. Those that didn’t regulate employee use in the right way found a number of risky applications handling their data – and leaking it into places where it didn’t belong.

But while security is a major issue that has to be addressed with custom software, it is not the only reason to seek mobile application development. Functionality is also a major consideration. Programs designed for any company to use often provide ineffective blanket solutions that fail to address the individual needs and desires of the organizations themselves. A shoe has to fit a foot just right in order to provide the greatest level of comfort and endurance, and the same can be said about applications and the companies that support them. If a pre-designed solution isn’t cutting it, a custom offering may be what’s required to keep pushing the organization forward.

“If the software isn’t building revenue opportunities, lowering costs, creating operational efficiencies, reducing risks, or making other tangible contributions to your end business, it’s time to step back and assess exactly what the software is doing for you,” wrote TechRepublic contributor Mary Shacklett.

Time to embrace wearable technology
While Apple Watch is still a few months away from being released, businesses may not have wearables on their radar. The growth of these devices, however, is expected to be explosive. Those who wait too long to consider how wearables will impact their organization may find themselves in a similar position that the smartphone-averse found themselves in when mobile touchscreen interfaces first started to make an appearance.

One of this biggest things that will have to be taken into account is software. Professionals are going to expect that their wearable devices are supported by enterprise programs in the ways that they need them to, meaning that is the time to invest in new applications. Whether amending an existing program or creating an entirely new one, custom software development is going to play an important role in wearable success.

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Recent Apple news grabs for attention in automotive, virtual reality fields

From the look of it, Apple wants to be a central figure in the mobile lives of its users. It all started with the iPhone, a device that exceeded expectations in many ways – namely as an enterprise tool. The iPad followed a similar path to acceptance. Soon, Apple Watches are going to be everywhere. It seems like Apple has every aspect of the mobile market cornered, but recent patents approved for the company show that their plans are just beginning.

According to ITProPortal contributor Sead Fadilpašić, Apple will soon make a jump into virtual reality with a headset meant to hold the iPhone in such a way that it becomes a VR display. Given that this patent was filed back in 2008 and only just recently approved, it would appear that these plans have been in the works for quite some time. But VR isn’t the only thing Apple is focusing its attention on – Constellation Research analyst Ray Wang stated on ZDNet that a smart car is the next ambitious move being made by Cupertino’s resident tech giant.

Businesses have already learned that Apple products have significant potential as workplace assets. The functionality of smartphones and tablets has been well-documented, and wearables have already been discussed as the next potential game-changer. But what about VR and the connected car? How will these developments alter the course of enterprise?

Apple’s newest patents and information leaks signify the beginning of even more office disruption. Virtual reality and smart​ cars, while not at all common now, will one day play a huge role for businesses. The kind of improved user experiences that will undoubtedly accompany these evolving technologies will be able to enhance life for customers and employees alike. Besides both areas receiving investment and attention from Apple, there is one other common theme between VR and connected vehicles – they will both require custom software solutions in order to be of true value to organizations.

Virtual reality, augmented reality and the trouble with headsets
Wearables have generated a considerable amount of conversation. This is primarily thanks to the promise of hands-free interfaces that can be used to provide assistance in ways that smartphones and tablets cannot. For many people, the natural conclusion for wearables is the headset. The opinion over whether or not this is a good thing, however, is hotly debated.

Google was one of the first companies to push for some form of smartglasses. Google Glass was embraced by early-adopters and tech enthusiasts, but a generally poor reception led the company to shelve the project until further notice. It is widely accepted that the failing here was in trying to replicate the usefulness of the smartphone in a hands-free device. Creating that kind of power while trying to make Glass as unobtrusive as possible ultimately proved to be too much. According to InformationWeek contributor Thomas Claburn, Sony’s recent release of the SmartEyeglass Developer Edition is likely fated for a similar failure.

While it’s not likely that Google Glass will be playing a role in the enterprise anytime soon, there is still a lot to be said about virtual and augmented reality. In the case of Apple’s option, it’s likely that VR will play a prominent role in things like customer engagement. The release of the device as an add-on to the iPhone rather than a siloed machine – like the Oculus Rift – also increases the chances of popularity and adoption.

You know that immersive experience that every consumer seems to be craving? Imagine enabling it through the use of VR. Creating interactive worlds for people to explore and connect with a brand will be powerful in terms of attracting and retaining business. Similar things can be said about employees. Enterprise communications have been going increasingly mobile, and the idea of pairing VR with company telecom assets could take video conferencing to an entirely new level.

Project Titan and the connected car
It seems as though people are making great strides in trying to connect as many things to the Internet as possible these days. One of the most interesting areas of discussion as of late is the idea of the smart​ car, a vehicle that runs apps and can connect to the Internet. Clearly, Apple is interested in this concept. While the recent patent for Apple Electric Car Inc. that’s making the news turned out to be a coincidence, it started enough of a conversation to dredge up some sparse details about the actual Apple’s automotive intentions – including the company’s rumored pursuit of electric car company Tesla Motors, according to U.S. News contributor Tom Risen.

According to Wang, this speaks volumes about how Apple views its place in the world – not to mention its future ambitions.

“The focus on continuity of experience is at the heart and soul of Apple,” Wang wrote. “This is the foundation behind Health Kit, Home Kit, Watch Kit, and Car Play. Apple is focused on delivering its ubiquitous experience from walking outside, checking your wrist, to hopping in the car, making a payment, to the in-home experience. The car puts Apple’s OS in the proverbial driver’s seat.”

While the attention is there, it could be several years before an Apple car appears on the road – if at all. But the fact that the project is in motion tells a lot about the potential for an electric smart car. Industries like shipping and transportation stand to gain a significant amount of functionality from this sort of technology, even if the “self-driving car” never comes into fruition. Being able to treat a vehicle as a device has an untold number of applications. From integrating GPS features with the car itself for improved positioning to the control of media via a smart dashboard, there is potential here.

The importance of programs
At the end of the day, the device is not the center of the equation. Machines serve as the catalysts for change, certainly, but they are not going to be of much use without the right programs in place. No matter if it’s a phone, headset or car, smart devices and wearables must be supported by custom software development.

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Wearable warfare: What makes the second try any different?

Wearables have received a lot of mixed receptions. Some people herald them as a major step forward for personal technology. Others view them as frivolous and not likely to experience the same adoption rates of other devices with similar hype. These detractors are likely to point out that the concepts behind many incoming machines like Apple Watch and HoloLens have been tried before – and failed spectacularly – to generate excitement.

Many people believe that Apple Watch is doomed to the same fate as Android Wear. These same people also think that HoloLens will be destined for the shelf in the same way Google Glass was pulled. But there are many differences between new and old wearables that give them much more of a leg-up than their predecessors of similar nature.

Businesses have to start getting ready for wearables. Apple Watch and HoloLens, unlike the devices that came before them, are expected to start appearing in enterprises all over the world upon their release. Companies must figure out how to use them to their advantage, and the only way to do so is to invest in custom software solutions.

Apple Watch generating optimism
Smartwatches are not a new thing at this point. Even before Apple announced its foray into this segment of the tech market, there were other companies trying to figure out how these devices could be best used in relation to the smartphone.

One of the biggest attempts came in the form of Android Wear, which of course was the effort made by Google to beat Apple to the punch. But Android Wear did not sell as well as expected. According to research firm Canalys, the device shipped 720,000 units out of 4.6 million smartbands total in 2014. This means that Android Wear was outperformed by Pebble, a company that focuses solely on fitness wearables rather than being a multi-function assistant.

So what happened? Why did Android Wear fall flat?

According to NetworkWorld contributor Colin Neagle, one of the biggest complaints about Android Wear was battery life. Smartwatches represent a very limited space in which to include energy reserves. Apple has already made it a point to discuss its efforts to maximize battery life, and success on this front could allow the smartwatch market at-large to officially take off – something that will be sure to quell those that still see no potential for the device. According to Neagle, analysts for J.P. Morgan Chase believe that Apple will succeed and its stock will increase, as a result.

HoloLens isn’t trying to be Google Glass
Microsoft announced the HoloLens within one week of Google canning the Glass Explorer program. To some, this was a bold move – one that generated a lot of questions about Microsoft’s work. The memory of Glass was still fresh and it turned many people off of the idea of wearables ​altogether. What does HoloLens have that Google Glass doesn’t?

Microsoft is going with a different strategy altogether with the HoloLens. Rather than being something that the user wears during all hours of the day, HoloLens aims to be a task-based augmented reality headset that’s worn only during use. By taking this route, Microsoft was able to be more liberal with the design and permit for a larger device. Google sacrificed a lot of capability in order to make Glass as unobtrusive as possible and still found that it drew far too much attention. This not only made the people wearing Glass uncomfortable, but everyone else around them as well. Nobody likes feeling like they’re secretly being filmed, and the front-mounted camera on Glass led to many an accusation.

Because it is not meant to be worn constantly, HoloLens is able to be used as a wearable computer. Devices like smartwatches are supposed to be used in tandem with another tool like a smartphone or tablet. HoloLens is a self-contained device, therefore giving it a wider range of potential. According to Network World contributor Jonathan Hassell, this will give it a huge advantage in the enterprise. While gaming was one of the more obvious applications, office life is likely to change in significant ways.

“This device can be used in business collaboration settings,” Hassell wrote. “Imagine an interactive business review, where you literally move numbers around on a page. Imagine an earnings presentation where you can actually transform bar and pie charts to answer questions and derive insight. Even consider an analytics angle: What if you can take a virtual walking tour of all of your New York customers’ buying habits in a certain Brooklyn location?”

The first big step in portable computing was the laptop. Today, it could very well be the HoloLens.

Unlocking the power of new wearable devices
While it’s possible that an organization’s first taste of HoloLens and Apple Watch could be through employee-owned devices, businesses have to get serious about strategies now. There is no doubt that people will try bringing these devices into the office, so even if a company sees no use for them on the surface, they may have to dig a little deeper. In what ways could Apple Watch and HoloLens help to streamline or simplify an essential operation? This will be the major question at the forefront of all successful wearables strategies.

But just as important as planning is execution. Allowing workers to select what software they’ll run on these devices in conjunction with company-owned data can have disastrous results. Either apps will be poorly designed and prone to security breaches or there will exist a lack of cohesion between colleagues who are using several different programs to complete one specific task.

This is why enterprises that wish to succeed with wearables have to invest in custom software development that considers them. Businesses need to provide their staffers with the ability to succeed, and that means taking a special interest in the tools that they use. Apple, Android and Microsoft devices are trustworthy and powerful in the workplace, but the software to make these attributes a reality may not be readily available. Providing custom mobile app development will be the key to staying out ahead of the wearable revolution.

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What role will fashion play in wearable adoption?

Will wearables be successful? This is not an easy question to answer. While there are a number of different people out there who are both for and against wearable technology, its ultimate place in society can’t be assured. One of the biggest arguments against smartwatches, visors and even fitness trackers is that they’re generally lacking in aesthetic appeal. But how true is this statement? Right now, there are various companies involved with wearables, and many of them are likely trying to find the right balance between fashion and function.

Wearables are likely to be embraced in significant ways as more devices of this caliber are made available to the general public. While the look of a machine is generally going to be important, a device’s value as a fashion accessory is ultimately going to depend on where and how it will be used. What is certain, however, is that in order for enterprises to best connect with the users of these devices, there will have to be an investment made in custom software development. Being able to have a specialized portal for employees or customers will increase the value of the relationships these apps foster.

Apple Watch now the center of discussion
Detractors of wearable technology have frequently turned to the physical appeal of a device as a make-or-break factor in its eventual adoption rates. This is most likely one of the reasons that Apple Watch has been designed in the way that it has. Swappable bands and a gold “Luxury” edition mean that Apple recognizes the importance of aethetics in its wearable offerings.

So if a tech company is making a watch, why can’t a watch company make a piece of tech? This is most likely the rationale behind the announcement that longtime watch company Swatch will be coming out with a competing device at the same time Apple releases its watch, according to PC Magazine.

Use will outweigh looks – in some cases
There are plenty of devices out there that we use every day, but only some of them are meant to be taken everywhere. Smartphones and laptops, for example, are meant to allow people freedom while computing. They have the same goals as many wearables, but there’s a big social difference between sitting on the train across from someone on a laptop versus someone with Google Glass strapped to their head. Part of the public’s problem with Glass was that it was too obtrusive. This was despite being designed to be as discrete as possible without sacrificing functionality. The Glass project has since been shelved for these reasons.

The uneven reception to Glass left some people wondering why Microsoft would move forward with a headset of their own that promises many of the same uses. HoloLens is decidedly bulkier than Glass and covers both eyes with a visor, which in theory would make it less likely than Glass to succeed. But the secret to Microsoft’s strategy lies in how frequently one is supposed to wear the HoloLens. Promotional material has show people walking through 3D environments in their homes and offices and taking the device off when it’s not in use.

Wearables like HoloLens, which are not designed to be constant personal assistants, have a strong likelihood of succeeding. It could be that HoloLens will be what ultimately warms the general public up to the idea of a device like Glass, but functionality is likely to be more important than how a device looks and how frequently it is worn when it comes to a headset – at least for the time being.

The ultimate purpose of fashion in wearable tech
Few people want to walk around looking like they are strapped to a computer. While wearable devices serve incredible purposes, they are not likely to experience significant adoption if they actually look like wearables. This is the idea behind both Apple and Swatch’s smartwatch strategies – rather than build something totally new, take a look at what works and figure out how to add functionality.

Essentially, wearables have to be invisible in order to be of the most value. Devices must blend with and, in a way, become part of the user. A broader acceptance of this truth will lead to less-visible devices that do not interfere in the experiences they are trying to improve.

“Whether smart watches, smart glasses or some other device becomes the indispensable wearable over the next five years, eventually the technology behind wearables will be integrated into so many objects that people will no longer think of products as smart or not,” wrote TechRepublic contributor Bill Detwiler. “Many objects and clothes will be smart in some way.”

The importance of effective software
Of course, the devices themselves are not the only component of effective wearable tech. Like other machines, smartwatches must have software in place that will allow them to be used at their fullest potential. While there are countless pre-designed enterprise programs out there, it is generally accepted that investing in custom mobile app development is a more preferable solution. One-size-fits-all applications may be too generalized for the companies that need them and are ultimately ignorant of the nuances that exist between companies. Custom software development ensures that both employees and customers are able to get the most out of their experience and increases the likelihood that they will continue to use a program after its initial launch on their devices.

Few things in business should be left up to chance. Allowing workers to download their own solution or failing to provide consumers with a specialized portal represents some serious missed potential. With more wearables entering offices in the relatively near future, it will be essential to both update existing applications for new integration opportunities and invest in new programs that consider the modern user experience.

Fashion appeal is a major consideration for wearable tech – one that more major players are picking up. It’s incredibly likely that the better these devices start to look, the more they will begin to appear. Businesses need to take notes and prepare ahead of their explosive arrival.

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What does Microsoft’s HoloLens mean for wearables?

With the recent announcement that Google would be ending its Glass Explorer program and indefinitely delay the official release of the device, one might be quick to think that wearable headsets are “dead.” But fresh news from Microsoft seems to indicate that the idea might still have a bright future – one that’s closer than previously thought.

At the end of this month’s Windows 10 industry event, Microsoft revealed the HoloLens, a wearable device that is designed to fully augment the reality of the user, according to TechRepublic contributor Erin Carson. Images and video of the HoloLens in action show wearers having useful information, television and more projected around them as if they were fixed objects. A traffic report sits on the kitchen counter, for example, while the user sits in the living room playing Minecraft on the coffee table and has Netflix playing on a physically empty wall.

This is a far cry from the world of wearables that Google envisioned. Glass was designed to be worn at all times in order to have instant access to information and apps, pulling things toward the user. HoloLens, on the other hand, is meant to be used like one would operate a laptop – use it when you need it and put it away when you don’t. It takes a great deal of tasks and information and projects them in virtual reality, allowing for the user to interact with applications rather than just be a recipient of data.

There is already a considerable amount of hype surrounding HoloLens, which brings to mind new questions about what we thought we knew about other wearables. Will devices like Apple Watch still carry the importance that they’ve been touted to? The answer is undoubtedly yes, but that does not change the fact that HoloLens is likely to change the trajectory that personal computing has had up until this point.

The only thing that’s certain at this juncture is that businesses need to start taking a look at how wearables – headsets or otherwise – are likely to affect their daily operations. In order to get the most out of any incoming device, it will be essential to invest in custom software solutions.

Personal device, professional applications?
Microsoft’s press material has, according to Carson, depicted the HoloLens in a number of different settings, both at home and on the job. In personal settings, users are able to better use the space around them through the use of augmented reality. In offices, HoloLens can improve the ability to complete tasks like design for engineers in significant ways.

HoloLens is also being considered as a potential new way for colleagues to work together remotely – no matter where in the universe they happen to be located. According to ITProPortal contributor Brian Fagioli, a new technology called OnSight is expected to be leveraged by NASA in order to explore the surface of Mars without having to ever even leave the ground.

“OnSight will use real rover data and extend the Curiosity mission’s existing planning tools by creating a 3-D simulation of the Martian environment where scientists around the world can meet,” NASA said, according to Fagioli. “Program scientists will be able to examine the rover’s worksite from a first-person perspective, plan new activities and preview the results of their work firsthand.”

The evolving definition of wearable technology
Up to this point, the extent of the average person’s experience with wearable tech has likely been limited to fitness trackers and certain early models of smartwatches. Apple Watch has yet to arrive to the masses, and Google Glass is going back to the drawing board for the time being. While the latter of the two gave people an introduction to immersive computing, the idea of wearing it at all times made some people uncomfortable.

The industry applications were clear for augmented reality – construction workers leveraging hands-free interfaces for blueprint data, doctors viewing x-rays over a patient’s body in real time, etc. –  but Glass did not generate the kind of excitement that Google was anticipating. HoloLens seems to have solved a major complaint that many had with Glass by being less intrusive and more accepting of the idea that virtual reality is not an “all the time” kind of thing. This challenges the commonly-held notion that all wearable devices are meant to be around-the-clock personal assistants. Perhaps it is time to start looking at some wearables less as gizmos and valets and more as serious computing machines that can be operated in ways that use the entire body.

This could be the wearable device that the enterprise has truly been waiting for. Smartwatches will absolutely have their place in the workplace as means of streamlining workflows while having ready access to information and communication, but revolutionizing many daily tasks may be the job that HoloLens will ultimately be leveraged to handle.

Innovation may be the result of HoloLens implementation
It’s still incredibly early to predict how successful Microsoft’s latest computing platform will be, but it is already anticipated to be an issue that organizations will have to address in the coming future. HoloLens has obvious application as a part of consumer home theater set-ups – consider for a second the possibilities that come with leveraging the headset alongside the company’s Xbox gaming console – but has potential to really shine in the increasingly connected workplace.

“This melding together that Microsoft makes such a show of continues into the world of work where you can collaborate with colleagues on projects using the 3D holograms and also chat over Skype whilst wandering around,” wrote ITProPortal contributor Jamie Hinks. “In a work context, when it comes to computer aided design the headset looks like it will be a real game changer by allowing you to see full 3D likenesses of what something will look like as a hologram on whatever surface is nearby.”

But new functionality cannot be unlocked without proper investment in custom software development. How exactly HoloLens fits into daily workflows will be dependent on the company that leverages it, and having specific and approved applications helps to get the most out of any device.

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Wearable tech will arrive for real in 2015

It is already shaping up to be an interesting year for wearable technology. By several accounts, wearable tech will make increased appearances in both personal and professional settings. According to Reuters contributor Katrina Hamlin, things like fitness trackers are “just the beginning,” especially when it comes to healthcare. Wearable devices are likely to totally revolutionize the way that many tasks are completed.

“Wearables are still mostly in the ‘pre-iPhone’ stage and to keep the momentum and support behind this new wave of computing growing it is important that everyone understands where we are going,” wrote BetaKit contributor Tom Emrich. “But what is happening is that we are hearing about wearables concepts, research projects, crowdfunding ideas and launched devices in the same breath, and this ends up confusing the consumer, and more importantly, sets unrealistic expectations for purchased devices that cannot (yet) be met.”

Part of delivering on wearable expectations will be ensuring that the applications supporting them are developed effectively. For enterprises, this means abandoning the idea that pre-designed programs are going to be capable of considering a given organizations specific nuances. Custom software solutions are already the best way to make certain that smartphones and tablets reach their fullest potential, and the same can be said about the impending rise of the wearable device.

Welcome to the wearable revolution
According to ITProPortal contributor Marco Veremis, wearables are “set to go global in 2015.” The highly-anticipated Apple Watch is set to be released in the coming months to wide adoption, meaning that offices will likely experience a surge of employee-owned devices much in the same way that the iPhone came on the scene in 2007. It’s likely that other companies will follow suit and continue to push their own similar solutions.

“[T]he opportunity is clear and with major players entering the market this year competition in these developing markets could be fierce,” Veremis wrote. “The brand that wins when it comes to wearable will be the one that is able to not only meet the technological and price needs for these markets, but also deliver services to consumer in the right way.”

Workplace use cases are expected to appear specifically in areas like medicine. Wearables are not only able to track patient information in real time and transmit it to healthcare facilities that need it, but they also offer doctors the opportunity to enjoy hands-free interfaces. Voice-controlled examination rooms will be easy to create when smartwatches provide a constant microphone connection to a custom software solution.

This will help physicians to remain more engaged and prevent the spread of disease at the same time. Machines like Google Glass will offer similar advantages – doctors will be able to maintain eye contact with their patients while calling up information on their headsets. X-rays, for instance, can be used in augmented reality scenarios and laid over the person through the display. Developments like these lead Emrich to believe that 2015 will be a huge year for wearables in healthcare.

“From a medical standpoint, we can also expect wearables to be used as tools by doctors and hospitals that are willing to experiment with them, especially devices like smart glasses that improve productivity,” Emrich wrote. “But I do not expect doctors to officially use biometric data collected by wearables of their patients for diagnosis. I do believe that the relationship between the doctor and patient will continue to change in 2015 as consumers begin to understand their body better, putting them on a different footing when they enter their doctor’s office at their next appointment.”

The evolution of wearables will take an interesting turn this year, and not just in healthcare. There is massive potential for innovation to occur in all industries thanks to mobile technology’s ability to streamline basic and complicated tasks alike. Starting now on software that will help to find a place for wearables is going to be essential for those organizations that are trying to stay ahead of the competition.

Effective applications of the utmost importance
While the devices themselves will be critical to have, they are not the only part of the equation. Custom software development is going to be the cornerstone of any mobility initiative in 2015. Regardless of if the programs in question are employee-facing or aimed at consumers, applications have to be designed with particular devices, people and uses in mind. Because there is not much precedent for wearables, however, there will need to be some serious time and dedication made toward considering possible issues that can arise down the road.

“Wearable hardware and software makers will need to communicate clearly to their users what data they are collecting, who owns it, and how it will be used in order to calm concerns,” Emrich wrote. “Those that take an opt-in first approach will win out. I expect to see the beginnings of standards and regulations be put together within enterprise and perhaps even on the regulatory level next year to tackle these concerns.”

Enterprises need to get serious about mobility in 2015. This will mean investing in custom mobile app development that considers wearable tech and how it will be used in the workplace. Avoiding the subject is not an option, as mobile devices have already proven to be popular means of productivity.

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Wearable tech to appear increasingly in healthcare

Given that some of the first wearables to take off dealt with exercise, it only makes sense that healthcare would be one of the first fields to begin enjoying success with mobile devices. As 2015 draws closer, medical professionals and companies are looking at ways in which these tools can further be used to streamline healthcare and make it easier to obtain.

“In 2014, wearable devices became the rage, many collecting data on everything from calories burned to hours slept to blood pressure,” wrote International Business Times contributor Luke Villapaz. “In 2015, technology companies and health care providers are looking to put that information to good use. With hundreds of wearable devices and connected health tools on the market, users can track almost any aspect of their health without even having to think about it. One thing the tools haven’t done: eliminate the need to visit a doctor’s office for a professional opinion. But a number of companies … are looking to change that.”

The devices are not the key to success in this area, however. There is going to be a need for those in the health industry to invest in custom software solutions that work with wearables to provide an immersive user experience. As wearable devices become more common, it will be essential to integrate health programs with them in order to provide modern care for patients.

‘Hearables’ expected to make waves
Believe it or not, there is one piece of wearable technology that has been around for a long time – headphones. According to CNBC contributor Nyshka Chandran, the earbud is expected to see some major advancements in the near future. This will help to garner a greater deal of support from those who are turned off by the appearance of wearable – or in this case, hearable – technology.

“One key advantage hearables have over other wearable peers is their discretion,” Chandran wrote. “Ear devices can be small in nature, thus giving its users greater discretion, as opposed to bulky smartwatches or the unavoidable Google Glass.”

But like other wearables, these tools are going to need the right kind of applications to be of any worth. The smartphone serves as the interface for many of the devices that people will begin to wear on their bodies. Making sure that existing custom mobile app development considers how new machines will be leveraged with them will be major. In the case of hearables and healthcare, this may mean building an app that can be used to improve hearing for millions of people while it monitors other vital signs.

mHealth becoming lucrative market
According to CIO contributor Jen Miller, a recent study from research2guidance found that mobile health is on the rise. By 2017, it is expected that the market value for this technology will be $26 billion. What started with sensors that simply tracked things like heart​ rate and the number of steps taken in a day is evolving into a new way to deliver healthcare.

“Wearables dominated the headlines last year, enabling users to track their heart rates and other aspects of their health,” Villapaz wrote. “While they’re expected to be out in full force this year, the clinical use of those technologies will also be a big focus … And as more wearables and monitoring devices become connected to the Web, doctors and health facilities are looking for new ways to remotely track their patients’ vitals.”

While the specifics may change between organizations, there is one thing that will remain constant – custom software development is going to be the key to success. Apps will need to be created that have a specific institution and patient base in mind in order to provide the best possible service and care.

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