The State of Wearable Devices and the Internet of Things

January 24, 2019 - 6 minutes read

Using a wearable device, you can water your lawn, lock your door, and pay your rent.

Wearables are among the most common forms of consumer internet of things (IoT) technology that people have access to but don’t use to its full potential.

A survey of IoT device owners from Clutch found that people own wearables devices limit the devices they connect to and the functions they regularly use.

Dogtown Media is rated as a top app developer in Los Angeles on Clutch.

Full Benefits of IoT Technology Not Yet Realized By Consumers

IoT devices can connect you to any smart technology with an internet connection and compatible applications or software.

For the most part, IoT devices, especially wearables, are used as extensions of people’s smartphones – equipped with similar applications that are used to track runs or measure heart-rate.

Part of the appeal of IoT devices is their ability to connect to each other and create a singular “ecosystem” of technology. This sort of system allows people teo access and control aspects of some of their daily activities remotely. 

Consumers, however, are not fully committed to investing in the devices that can make that a reality. In fact, over half (52%) of people who own a form of wearable technology have no intention in purchasing other IoT devices over the next year.

What Keeps People From Using Wearables to Their Full Potential?

People hesitate to integrate IoT technology into their daily lives from as a result of three factors in particular:

  1. Screen Size

Complex tasks can be frustrating and on wearable interfaces. While people can access apps and functionalities using their wearables, they often need to scroll through additional pages to accommodate the lack of screen space.

“I think the wearables market may have a ceiling,” said Dogtown Media CTO & Co-Founder Rob Pope. “There’s only so much screen size. Anything that is more than one or two clicks is going to be frustrating.”

As a result, people still rely on their phones or computers to accomplish tasks.

  1. Connectivity

Unfortunately, not all IoT devices are made the same.

There are multiple vendors, software developers, hardware developers, and technology companies vying for a piece of the consumer IoT market.

As a result, IoT devices and technology that aren’t necessarily designed to be compatible with one another.

This acts as a barrier to people who try to connect multiple IoT devices – for example, someone trying to set up a system to control the light fixtures in their home or set the temperature of their refrigerator may need to have custom software developed just to make that connection possible.

The hassle associated with this almost always exceeds the value of the connection they are trying to make, especially for activities such as controlling home appliances. Standing up and turning on the lights is probably not worth the thousands needed to create a remote control system.

  1. People Don’t Trust Devices for Complex Tasks

Wearable devices have access to sensitive information, such as users daily activities and financial information.

Approximately half of the people who own an IoT devices realize that their data is shared across other devices. This prompts people to stay away from certain functions on their devices altogether.

In addition to privacy concerns, people are uncomfortable using wearable devices for certain, more complex tasks such as payment processing.

While some wearable devices have the ability to synch with payment processing, such as an Apple Watch with Apple Pay, many find it easier and more familiar to use their credit cards to complete a purchase.

The Future is Still Bright for Consumer IoT

IoT app developers are aware of the challenges people experience with wearable and other IoT devices.

To increase the number of people using IoT devices, they need to create simplistic user interfaces that are easy for people to use and connect to other devices.  

As more IoT devices enter the market, the priority of these companies should be establishing more trust and comfort between their customers and wearable devices.

In addition, people are increasingly used for health monitoring and reporting – which can have potentially life-saving impact on users.

Intuitive devices that provide value to their owners are worth the investment. The more IoT technology qualifies under those two categories, the more people will invest in IoT devices.

Check out verified client reviews and projects of Dogtown Media on Clutch, The Manifest, and Visual Objects.