Wearables have been going through a rough patch recently. Let’s face it, people are bored of the promise of engaging and relevant wearable tech, which then leads to yet another wrist worn gadget that offers dubious technical capabilities and little added value. Don’t get me wrong, this stuff is highly challenging. There is a reason why Apple, with all the cash in the world were not able to create a smartwatch that works!
In everything we do at Nine Degree Products we try and break this stigma of underperforming Wearables. Firstly by working only on projects that have a compelling value proposition and secondly, by choosing projects that are backed up by technologies that can realistically be integrated into compelling wearables. Wrap that together with a passionate and committed founding team behind the idea and we start to get excited.
BioSelf Technology is a case study in this. A wearable device that is comprised of a unique mix of technologies that CAN be created, a software ecosystem that has a compelling business wrapper and community of users who have actually been considered from the start. Stefan Chmelik brings this together as the visionary pioneer, who has had the foresight to plan and implement a robust development plan, with flexibility to learn fast and iterate with Lean at the core.
What has become clear is that hardware is far from dead! Hardware is essential in wearables, but the glue that holds a successful proposition together is the combination of a brilliantly designed physical device and a software ecosystem that delivers the information a user wants in a way that excites and enthuses engagement. Hardware enabled Software is a phrase Stefan talks about a lot and we don’t call him @wisestefan for nothing! I recently had a similar conversation with Matt Webb (Formerly of BergCloud). Who would bet the house on a widget and leave the connected part to chance? This is a good philosophical starting point for a successful wearable – Complete harmony and synergy with the user, not another damn appendage to fill the bottom drawer.
Although it is clear that Wearables will win out eventually, the interesting part is trying to understand how it will play out. I predict that wearables are here to stay, but there is no doubt that Wearables 2.0 and 3.0+ will really need to up the game and find their feet. Longer term the ubiquity of ‘on-body’ technology will play out and the idea that a person is not ‘tech enabled’ will be as absurd as some of the ridiculous product propositions of 2016. NDP are gearing up to help Stefan and his team deliver a Crowdfunding campaign in 2017. Catch us up there soon and drop by the stand (Launch Pad area) at #WTS2017 for a chance of winning this amazing #wearabletech product and many others up for grabs (join us on Twitter @ninedegreetech using #NDPprizes).
Jacob Skinner is a product development expert, CEO of NDP (based in London and Brighton). He also sits on the board of BioSelf Technology Ltd, a technology startup also based in London.