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Programmers and Developers Should Focus on Wearable Technology

DZone's Guide to

Programmers and Developers Should Focus on Wearable Technology

Wearables are here. The market is growing crazy fast. The tooling is getting more mature. Start coding for wearables now.

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As a developer or programmer, it’s important to always be on top of new trends, developments, and technologies. After all, your livelihood and career outlook depends on how well you’re able to align your services with evolving innovations and high-demand products. In 2015, that means you need to closely follow wearables. While they’re still emerging and haven’t quite moved past the introduction phase of the traditional product life cycle, it’s clear that they’re poised for significant growth in the very near future.

Current State of the Market

You only have to go back to 2010 to study a time in which wearables were virtually non-existent. The market value was a meager $6.3 million, and the only buyers were extreme early adopters. However, there’s been a major focus on innovation and marketing over the past few years and growth has been tremendous. The industry grew 100-fold from 2010 to 2011, reaching a market value of $630 million. At the end of last year, that value had increased to $5.1 billion. By the conclusion of 2015, numbers say the industry will have surpassed the $7.1 billion mark.

Thanks to the average consumer being familiar with using screens and carrying smartphones in their hands, purses, and pockets, the shift to wearable devices has been easier than some originally anticipated. As a society, there’s nothing strange about walking down the street and seeing someone punching away at a small handheld screen. That’s totally normal to us. The only barrier to mass adoption – and it’s a speed bump, not a roadblock – is to make people comfortable wearing screens and sensors (and seeing them worn).

As global tech companies pour hundreds of millions of dollars into manufacturing these new sophisticated technologies, you can bet they’ll spend millions more on marketing. The average eye needs to be led to believe that wearable devices are natural, normal, and safe. And the good news for those close to the industry is that the day when wearables are no longer taboo might already be here. If it’s not yet, it’s only a matter of weeks or months.

3 Reasons Why Programmers and Developers Should Pay Attention

As a programmer or developer, now is the time to pay attention. If you haven’t already given thought to working with wearable platforms, don’t delay any longer. Here are a few reasons why you need to be all-in:

1. Low Prices for Consumers

Many of the big manufacturers have finally achieved economies of scale, meaning they’re able to pass along lower prices to consumers. “The mass adoption of smartphones, such as the iPhone – which has 40 sensors embedded in it and has been through years of costly development – has pushed the cost of developing wearables down,” Bryan Sandala writes for Bankrate.com. As a result, major sporting good stores and retailers are able to offer coupons and discounts for as much as 60 percent off.

2. Many Different Uses

The beauty of wearables is that they aren’t reliant on a small sector of the market. Their value goes beyond a single target. Wearable devices can be used in the medical field to help doctors develop better insights about patients and procedures. They may be used in business to accelerate on-the-job training or allow for simple troubleshooting of mechanical problems. Or in sports and fitness, these devices would be capable of measuring heart rate, calories burned, distance traveled, and other important metrics.

Many also believe there are uses for wearable devices for sports and entertainment, business travel, police and military, real-time sales, car insurance, and more. The possibilities are virtually endless. As a programmer or developer, it should be invigorating to know that so many options are out there. By investing yourself in wearables, you automatically raise the ceiling on your potential.

3. Heavy Focus on Marketing

The wearable industry hasn’t always looked so promising. Just months ago, it seemed like Google was retracting their much anticipated Google Glass from beta testing because there were too many issues and not enough people willing to accept it. And while that’s unfortunate for Google, it ultimately taught the rest of the industry a lesson: Take it slow and let the customers guide progression; that seems to be what’s happening now.

Tech companies are paying attention to what the customer wants and not going overboard. The technology may already be here to create even more sophisticated and advanced devices, but these brands don’t want to overwhelm. Instead, they’re focused on marketing – which is ultimately good for programmers and developers. Marketing makes your job easier, as more customers are primed and willing to listen.

Looking Ahead to the Future

By 2018, the wearable device market is expected to reach a value of more than $12.6 billion. Will you be on the sidelines, or will you be working hard to grab a portion of that market?

Cisco is a software company. Surprised? Don’t be. Join DevNet to explore APIs, tools, and techniques that developers are using to add collaboration, IoT, security, network priority, and more!

Topics:
wearables ,iot

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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