The wearables industry is stagnant, the "features first, necessity later" approach has hit a wall and, in 2017, many are looking at new wearables coming out but only thinking about the old one sitting unused in their drawer. But how can the wearables industry change that?
Well, they will keep making them look better and giving them new features but until the consumer has a reason to turn around after forgetting to put them on (like they would with keys, wallet, phone) they will continue to end up forgotten.
No matter what the current trends point to, wearables are here to stay. Having a device that performs a function and feels natural to carry around is key to mobile device evolution- and this is an idea that is bigger than just fitness tracking. In the short-term a wearable company by itself can only do so much, and there are plenty of them trying. Lots of big players are getting into the smart watch and fitness tracker market and we are seeing an increase in wearables from the medical industry like insulin monitoring and smart pills. But the industries are not working together, even a even a heart rate monitor can seem unnecessary unless your doctor has access to the data. The privacy and regulatory hurdles make it unlikely that data-sharing to the medical industry will come from the coolest new wearable. In fact, it is unlikely that any company outside the industry will actually create the "coolest" wearable. Industries like medical, building access control, payments, and smart home need to be more open to letting wearables do interactive things, like letting you pay for a meal or swipe into your office. Wearables companies need to be more pro-active at getting this to happen, by establishing partnerships and laying the groundwork for open, privacy sensitive interaction.
When we created Range we realized that there is no way that we could change the devices someone wants to carry with them. We wanted to bring presence monitoring and automation to smart homes so we looked at ways to work with the things people carried. That is why we created Range with the aim of letting all mobile devices (with BLE or WiFi) become presence triggers. By using the existing signals coming out of these devices, Range can recognize them each time they come and go. If your fitness wearable also turns on and off your lights and air conditioning, you might think twice about leaving it at home.
Range is soon to be released on Kickstarter. Subscribe to our email list for updates.