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5 Top Trends in Wearable App Technology for 2018

Nabeena Mali

These innovative uses of wearable tech will be game-changers.

From taking selfies using voice commands to tracking total calories burned, wearable technology is rapidly evolving all around the world.

Industry leaders and tech enthusiasts are expecting exceptional growth in the wearable market. According to Statista, the number of connected wearable devices reached 453 million in 2017 and is forecasted to reach 929 million by 2021. With the significant evolution of the technology, we can expect wearable apps to become an essential part of our daily lives soon.

Aspiring entrepreneurs and app developers need to be aware of the emerging trends in wearable app development to put together amazing mobile applications based on wearable technology. Here are five evolving trends that will dominate consumer IoT in 2018 and paint the future of wearable tech.

1. More intelligent smartwatches

Today, smartwatches work as supporting devices to enhance the mobile experience, but soon they will become smarter. In 2018, we can expect advanced watches that not only match smartphones but may replace the need for them. Though we can already monitor daily activities and health records using our smartwatches, we may get information in a more usable form in the future. For example, we could determine glucose levels in our blood, link it to our schedule, monitor our stress levels throughout the day, and distinguish the people and meetings who give us the most stress. 

Wearable apps and devices could also emerge as the most efficient solution for handling other IoT devices. The home and workplace are both moving toward intelligent devices, and this technology will undoubtedly demand a powerful app that helps the user control all the devices simultaneously.

2. Wearable IoT in healthcare

With wearable apps and devices, doctors can easily track a patient's condition and determine critical insights, leading to a more advanced diagnosis process. Wearables can be a powerful solution to save both time and resources in hospitals. For example, Zephyr Anywhere's BioPatch, an FDA-approved device, can be attached to a patient's chest to observe their condition and deliver real-time data to their doctors. This device can send alerts to doctors' watches or smartphones, promoting more intensive care. Moreover, wearable IoT could effectively incorporate wheelchairs, artificial limbs and other supportive devices.

Wearable innovations extend to hearing aids as well. For instance, the ReSound LiNX2 allows a user to control their hearing through an iPhone app. With great inventions in wearable tech, it is easy to collect complex information that addresses several health-related concerns. Get ready to see more innovative mobile apps and wearables in the healthcare sector.

3. Enhanced customer data collection

Apart from improving the user experience, wearable technology will open new business opportunities for digital marketers. Popular wearable gadgets such as Google Glass and smartwatches will allow marketers to easily collect essential information on buying habits and locations of the target audience. Entrepreneurs and app developers will also see new opportunities from the trend. Advanced wearable devices mean developers will need to build apps for new systems and come up with better data collection methods using wearables and mobiles.

We have already seen smart glasses providing more appealing and advanced user experiences. Tech giants Google, Intel and Microsoft are all striving to come up with glasses based on augmented reality. Soon we may even see high-tech smart clothes on the market. Undoubtedly, smart accessories and clothing will open up new business opportunities, and the trend continues to turn into a billion-dollar industry.

4. GPS technology

Navigation is another sector where there will be significant developments in the year ahead. A combination of wearables and real-time tracking can detect locations efficiently. Advanced wearable devices and smartphones today come with gyroscopes, compasses, accelerometers and motion trackers. With all this collected data, smartwatches and apps can determine cadence, speed, distance traveled and total calories burnt.

Accelerometers, compasses and gyroscopes can combine to build a joint motion sensor. Apple has already added motion-tracking coprocessors to its smartphone series. 2018 may be a crucial year for the revolutionary use of GPS technology.

5. Women's safety and wearable devices

This list wouldn't be complete without talking about wearable apps that will be used to protect women against violence and harassment. Per the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 91 percent of victims of sexual assault in the United States are female, and 1 in 5 women will be raped in their lifetime. These numbers point to a serious problem that must be addressed from multiple perspectives. A few companies have already launched wearable apps and devices to help women find assistance more quickly or disorient a possible attacker. Such wearables can often camouflage into a woman's outfit, look like jewelry pieces or blend into keychains.

So, these are the top five wearable app trends worth noticing in 2018. Wearable apps and devices will further evolve to address complex real-world problems. As the technology continues to explode, we can imagine a day when we don't have to hold our smartphone and open an app; the wearable device will keep us connected all the time. The constant flow of live data will also provide an opportunity for tech enthusiasts and forward-thinking enterprises to build new technologies, services, products and even entire industries.

As the technology becomes more affordable and secure, wearable IoT will become an essential part of our lives just like smartphones. Are you ready to embrace the change?

Image Credit: jannoon028/Shutterstock
Nabeena Mali Member
Nabeena Mali drives acquisition at AppInstitute - a DIY app builder for small businesses and is passionate about sharing her knowledge and insights on design strategy, UI/UX trends, and mobile tech.