Five Important Questions Before You Launch a Wearable Device or App

Our previous IoT posts address why your business needs to embrace the Internet of Things and how your to prepare your business for an IoT initative

The Internet of Things is getting personal thanks to wearables.

Wearables bring IoT functionality to an individual level thanks to a connected device that someone can wear. Wearable devices come in just about any shape and size. The market already has wearables that function as:

  • Glasses
  • Watches
  • Bracelets
  • Rings
  • Fobs and Pendants
  • Shirts and Fabrics

This list shows that it’s possible to turn just about anything you can wear into a wearable.

But should your business actually do it?

We’re glad you asked. Here are five important questions your business can use to guide your initial discussions about creating a wearable product.

1. What do users want?

Customers have already proven they will purchase and use wearable devices because they deliver data solutions. The rise of fitness trackers shows that there’s a market for wearables that record data and make it easy to access. The next level of user adaption revolves around convenient functionality. This is what wearable watches are offering—immediate at-a-glance access to texts, emails, phone calls, and more.

2. How will it make users feel?

One of the driving forces behind the adaption of smartphones is the ‘cool factor’ users feel. The status users get from taking an iPhone out of a pocket, or explaining their Fitbit band, drives adoption. This means wearables need attractive design. At the same time, wearables can’t be so cutting edge that they make you look like a jerk. Wired discussed how this was a shortcoming with Bluetooth earpieces and, later, with Google Glass. So your product needs to provide functionality, and it needs to make users feel important. Both are keys to early adaption.

3. Do you need to build the hardware?

In the earliest days of the IoT, offering a wearable device in the marketplace meant building hardware. This meant a company needed significant capital to initial reach market. Now that big companies like Apple and Samsung have product offerings, you can create a wearable product by developing an app, instead of creating a physical product. This approach can allow you to get to market more quickly and to be more nimble in adjusting to user feedback. If your product offering is right, either approach can be valuable. So you need to strategically identify which tactic will lead to the best results for your business.

4. What makes your wearable device or app better?

Any product entering the market needs to be both unique and valuable. Uniqueness speaks to what makes your product distinct. What problem are you providing a solution for? How is your solution different or better than what’s currently available? What’s distinct about the way you deliver the solution, or the service you provide alongside it? Viability speaks to what makes your idea work. It’s important to determine your minimum viable product (MVP) so you know the bar you have to clear to start making sales. Viability requires both functionality and the features users demand before making a purchase. By starting with an MVP, you can enter the market quickly, begin getting real user feedback you can use to iterate, and begin drawing revenue at the lowest possible investment. Don’t get so eager to get a wearable device or app to market that you forget the fundamentals needed for any successful product launch.

5. Are you creating a B2B or B2C product?

If your product is consumer-oriented, it will need to focus on sleek, attractive design. If it’s business-oriented, you’ll need to show how you’re creating efficiency or measurable ROI. Knowing your audience will help you cater your product and your sales pitch, and keep your MVP lean and effective.

Wearables provide a new opportunity for your business to engage users and enhance your bottom line. But as with any other solution, strategy is key to a successful product launch.

A trusted software partner like Worthwhile can help you navigate the wearables market — or whatever new market emerges next. Contact us if you want to talk about your wearable device or app idea.

Watch for future posts on Internet of Things technology and your business. 

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