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5 Reasons Why Your Wearable Needs a Developer Program

By Terry Hughes / Jul 06, 2014

As anyone walking around their local gym can tell you, the proliferation of smart wearables is happening quickly. A big question we hear is “Which wearables will become the next game changer?” Like we’ve seen with other smart devices and brands, a strong app ecosystem built around the product is fundamental to success. In this article, we map out 5 reasons why wearables companies today need a developer program to become a definitive must for consumers. 5. Developers can help your wearable satisfy the growing demand for fitness apps Since 2012, the demand for fitness apps by consumers has more than doubled with a new report forecasting global downloads to climb 60 percent to 248 million by 2017. While most wearables contain advanced features like heart rate monitors and pedometers, the technology behind them is relatively closed off to third party support. Opening up this technology to developer communities can provide a growing catalog of optimized fitness apps to take shape on wearables like it has on smart phones. In addition, providing a growing ecosystem of fitness applications will also spur consumer interest. As detailed in an IHS consumer survey, 62 percent of respondents interested in using sports and fitness apps also were prepared to purchase the hardware and devices that enhanced the functionality of the software. 4. Developers can reduce your costs Juniper Research, a leading analyst firm in the wireless sector, expects more than a 130 million smart wearable devices to ship by 2018, with smart glasses alone reaching 10 million by 2018. With a growing market of wearable devices, the need to facilitate a developer community is essential to providing a compelling device and to reduce costs. Open API’s and developer communities provide the strategic benefit of cost effectively scaling your business and tapping into the ingenuity that will differentiate your product. 3. Highly Engaged= High App Retention Wearables today benefit from a high engaged user base. It’s been found that 79 percent of wearable user’s utilize their device a few times per week for a variety of functions. (CEA Research) This highly engaged user base is attractive for developers to create apps for and allows them to innovate for an audience ready to explore the new potential of their devices. 2. Leveraging a developer community enhances your UI/UX Customers regardless of device or product ultimately are looking for a simple and intuitive experience. Although many companies spend considerable time and resources honing their wearable to meet these expectations, allowing developers to integrate your wearable data or API can allow them to further enhance the UI/UX cost effectively and securely. Developer communities not only ensure your customers experience is simple and intuitive, but also innovative. 1. Developers can make your wearable “sticky” Customer retention is a critical aspect to the success of any wearable. Although it’s important that your users download apps, not expanding on sticky features like competitive scoring, gamification, and social elements will not establish wearables as something consumers will be routinely using or share with others. Providing a developer program provides the dual benefit of enhancing the functionality of your product, while allowing developers to provide positive reinforcement for driving engagement. The path to mass adoption for wearables comes with many obstacles. As detailed, deploying developer programs provides critical components essential to the success of a wearable and its adoption as an extension of daily life. AppCarousel app ecosystem specialists across connected devices, makes it easy to grow a developer program and foster its growth with a pre-existing community of developers. Giving you a faster time-to-market and expertise in managing scalable operations, AppCarousel is your wearable app ecosystem partner.