Wearables are the hottest trend in technology right now. They’re poised to become as popular as the smartphone. But because wearables are so trendy, the market is glutted with wearables that most people won’t actually use. Did you know that there are high-tech earplugs? We didn’t either. If you’re thinking about creating a wearable, don’t let it be forgotten or, worse yet, unpopular. Instead, follow our five tips for creating wearables that people will want, wear, and keep wearing.
1. Help customers use data collected to change their lives.
There are lots of wearables on the market that collect data. These are all well and good, but what clients really want are wearables that also analyze this data in order to give them actionable steps about how to change their behavior. A fitness tracker that tells users to run one more mile in the moment is much more effective than one that requires users to sift through weeks and months of data. For example, the Polo Fit Shirt will relay heart rate, stress, and workout intensity data to a connected device that will offer workout suggestions in real time.
2. Don’t simply replicate features that a smartphone or other handheld device already covers.
People are already constantly connected to their phones for so many uses. They already carry phones around, ensuring that they have all the apps and features that are useful to them throughout their days. This reliance on smartphones is why people aren’t buying wearable tech that simply replicates a smartphone with a tiny screen. Instead of creating a smartwatch that simply tells users to check their phones, design a product that helps people complete simple tasks.
3. Make sure your wearable is fashion-forward.
Customers only have so many wrists, fingers, and ears onto which they can put their wearables. If customers want to wear jewelry, too, there’s even less room for your product. That’s why you need to make your wearable fashion-forward, serving as both a wearable and a piece of jewelry. For example, this prototype pendant from Bluetooth Smart and jewelry designers is a sleek silver pendant with a green glowing light that communicates phone alerts.
4. Consider putting sensors into items your customers already wear.
Some customers may never wear trackers around their wrists or sensors on a special pair of glasses. That’s why many companies have been served well by integrating their wearable tech into items of clothing that people already wear. Some companies let users adhere sensors anywhere on various items of clothing. For example, SOLS creates gait-monitoring shoe insoles that users can slip into shoes they already wear.
5. Keep your wearable design simple.
Some companies are tempted to make wearables that are so multifaceted that they allow for everything from fitness tracking to gameplay to stock market quotes. This kind of cluttered interface is not what clients expect from their wearables. Instead, they want wearables to serve a single function, solving just one problem in their lives. Design a wearable that helps consumers solve problems efficiently, and that doesn’t make them sort through a bunch of applications.