The impact of wearables and connected devices for developers – Part 1

Burley Kawasaki, SVP, Products at Kony, Inc

The use of wearable and connected devices is increasing in popularity and frequency in the enterprise. These new classes of devices present a variety of benefits – from creating new business opportunities and increasing work quality and productivity, to solving problems that span across physical and virtual work scenarios.

As a result, interest in the Internet of Things (IoT) is rising, and industry research firms like Gartner predict that 274.6 million wearable electronic devices will be sold worldwide in 2016, an increase of 18.4% from 232 million units in 2015. Moreover, sales of wearable electronic devices are expected to generate revenues of close to 28.7 billion just this year.

Gartner isn’t alone. Forrester believes wearables will be commonplace in enterprise by 2020. However, as adoption increases, it creates challenges for designers and developers. Compared with smartphones and tablets, creating apps for wearables and connected devices, can be challenging because of unusual screen form factors and the need to engage users for a shorter amount of time, says Burley Kawasaki, SVP Products at Kony, Inc.

Enterprise mobility company, Kony, recently surveyed over 230 participants from across North America, South America, Europe and Africa to look more closely at this for a research report titled, “Wearables and Connected Devices: The Next Frontier in Cross-Platform Mobile Development.”

It discovered 69% of designers said wearables and connected devices either “already is” a challenge for application design or will become one within the next 6 – 12 months; and 65% of mobile app developers agreed.

This shift, therefore, toward novel and non-traditional devices in the workplace has called for a redesign of business processes – including some that haven’t changed since the paper form.

Additionally, since developers and designers are working with new form factors and screen sizes, they need to consider the amount of data that has to be captured and what information should be displayed. Apps, therefore, need to adapt and optimise for the unique capabilities of the device being used.

For example, SAP data entry does not work well on a 1” watch device. You, instead, need to adapt and optimise for how your users work, and not simply view it as another channel like the web. Kony’s research evaluated such app development challenges, and it points out that one quarter of developers felt stakeholders had “no clear vision” and that 51% of designers have said “designing for multiple platforms” was a challenge.

What’s more, connected IoT devices present the additional challenge of providing too much data for humans to process; with smart sensors all around us streaming hundreds or thousands of small events per minute, one cannot possibly sift through that much data.

Instead, it’s important for developers to build apps that apply predictive analytics on the vast IoT event streams being generated, and then leverage the mobile app as an intelligent control point for the connected IoT world only when needed. This empowers the mobile user to take action, based upon exceptions; or to proactively take action, but not have to make sense of vast amounts of data.

The research also evaluated typical barriers that teams face during the development stage of mobile projects. Lack of time and resources (37%) and complexity of omni-channel development (37%) tied as the top two barriers developers face during the development stage of a mobile project. Lack of coding knowledge (6%), complexity of keeping up with OS updates (14%) and complexity of backend integration (6%) were other barriers cited.

When people were asked about the top three reasons preventing them from rolling out their mobile app, there were three clear reasons: misalignment between IT and LOB (39%), lack of time and resources (31%) and no clear vision from stakeholders (25%).

Survey respondents also talked about the number of applications that they are working on in 2016: 42% are working on two, 36% are working on more than three and 21% are working on one. They also talked about their expectations around app development in the next 12 months; 64% plan to build two or more apps, 16% plan to build 5 or more and 12% plan to build one or more.

This explosion of demand for mobile apps is being driven for many reasons, but one of the top ones is that the changing workforce just expects things to work this way, because it’s the way that their consumer apps work.

Clearly, wearable and connected devices hold tremendous promise for enterprises. However, while building apps for these devices can present challenges for developers and designers, the advantages significantly outweigh the disadvantages. Some enterprises are actually redesigning entire business processes that haven’t changed for decades.

Progressive enterprises are shifting to apps designed from the outside in, not the traditional inside out approach. So, it means firms should not structure apps around internal system limitations or around organisation boundaries; this simply propagates legacy processes. Instead, adopt a people-centred design philosophy and orient around the end user personas and what outcomes are needed to let people get their work done.

The author of this blog is Burley Kawasaki, SVP Products at Kony, Inc.

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_ OR @jcIoTnow


Ospitek, BEST Health System partner to improve the outpatient surgical experience with IoT, AI

Posted on: December 6, 2022

OSPITEK INC., the developer of the proprietary Digital Health platform VIEW, has partnered with Ohio’s BEST Health System to implement the VIEW software platform in BEST’s outpatient surgical centres. The VIEW platform is a cloud-based software and IoT enhanced, Ambulatory Surgery Centre (ASC) management and communication platform, designed for rapid adoption to compliment legacy EHR

Read more

KORE collaborates with Google Cloud to deliver IoT solutions

Posted on: December 6, 2022

KORE, a global specialist in Internet of Things (IoT) Solutions and worldwide IoT Connectivity-as-a-Service (IoT CaaS) has announced that it has established a go to market alliance with Google Cloud to bring IoT capabilities to global businesses.

Read more

The IoT Adoption Boom – Everything You Need to Know

Posted on: September 28, 2022

In an age when we seem to go through technology boom after technology boom, it’s hard to imagine one sticking out. However, IoT adoption, or the Internet of Things adoption, is leading the charge to dominate the next decade’s discussion around business IT. Below, we’ll discuss the current boom, what’s driving it, where it’s going,

Read more

9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, home automation using iot is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more

5 challenges still facing the Internet of Things

Posted on: June 3, 2020

The Internet of Things (IoT) has quickly become a huge part of how people live, communicate and do business. All around the world, web-enabled devices are turning our world into a more switched-on place to live.

Read more

What is IoT?

Posted on: July 7, 2019

What is IoT Data as a new oil IoT connectivity What is IoT video So what’s IoT? The phrase ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) is officially everywhere. It constantly shows up in my Google news feed, the weekend tech supplements are waxing lyrical about it and the volume of marketing emails I receive advertising ‘smart, connected

Read more