Wearables: Not Just for Fitness

We love our fitness wearables! Between us, InspiringApps employees possess Apple Watches (with fitness apps), the Garmin Forerunner 220, and a handful of FitBits. The swimmers on our team are looking into Moov Swim to track laps, and some sleep-challenged employees think the Jawbone UP3 that tracks both fitness and ZZZs is worthy of consideration.

We’re not alone in our passion for wearables. A recent report from Gartner predicts that sales of wearable electronic devices will increase 18.4% in 2016 from the previous year. While fitness products lead the market in sales, wearable technology in other industries is causing a buzz too. Several caught our attention in the business, health, and pet industries.

In business settings, accessing real-time financial data on a wearable has some execs talking. Companies like Sage and Xero, leaders in accounting software for small and medium-sized businesses, have recently released mobile versions of their software that work on all mobile platforms, including Apple Watch. The apps allow users to receive notifications on deposits and withdrawals, check balances, send invoices, and view transactions, among other things.

The soon-to-be-released Invoice2go app for the Apple Watch is also a compelling use of wearable technology. It will allow users to track time worked, send an invoice, and receive payment notification when the invoice is paid, all right from their wrist.

Wearables that monitor our health and provide information to medical professionals are also being adopted in ever-increasing numbers. A partnership between Apple and IBM resulted in a series of apps that assist healthcare providers with management and organization, allowing more time for patient care.

On a more individual level, Violet monitors UV exposure in real time and alerts you before potential skin damage occurs. Medisafe streamlines medication lists into an easy-to-use app, promising greater medication adherence rates. And Valedo provides a pair of sensors that work with an app to assist wearers in performing therapeutic back exercises correctly.

Wearable tech isn’t only for people. A variety of wearables have been created to help care for our furry friends. Most of the apps highlighted in this “best pet wearable” list track your pet’s location via GPS, while some check the animal’s temperature, pulse, and activity. And we love the idea of dogs capturing the world from their vantage point! Imagine the footage your dog could capture with a GoPro on this harness.

We’re keeping an eye on wearables and what’s to come. It’s just one of the tech considerations we cover in the latest edition of our book, Inspiring Apps: A Business Perspective on Building Mobile Apps. It’s free in the iBooks store.

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