The present technology available in wearables is impressive. We’ve all seen someone (or worn ourselves) fitness trackers from Fitbit, Misfit Wearables, Polaris, Garmin, and so on. These track our steps, monitor our sleep and sleep quality, and track our heartrates when we exercise. They provide valuable information that gives us the power to make informed decisions about our own activity levels.
Beyond step-tracking, though, is a whole frontier of wearable health applications. A partnership between Polaris Health Directions and the MD Anderson Cancer center uses the Apple Watch with breast cancer patients. The device will track everything from sleep to side effects, and promotes instantaneous feedback and action to make treatments as effective as possible.
In another science fiction-accented application, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation used wearables in India to connect children recovering from malaria to remote clinics. Since access to clinics is directly related to the survival rate, this application of wearable technology is literally saving lives.
If these applications fill us with a sense of hope, then the future holds wonders galore. Imagine tattoos with technology implanted, or microchips that live under your skin. A little hard-core, maybe, but even a temporary tattoo could monitor health information for a specific period of time (say, a hospital stay) without invasive monitoring devices. A press-on patch could monitor your baby’s vital signs and give you more peace of mind than the fanciest baby monitor. The possibilities are endless.
So how do we get there?
Designing a wearable that breaks the mold and treads new ground is key to winning in the wearables market. With innovation flying ahead at lightspeed, how can you make sure that you’re staying ahead of the curve? It comes down to three things things—fine-tuning the design process itself, allowing function to dictate form, and using the best possible components to improve user experience.
The design process
Designing for a wearable tends to turn the design experience you’re used to on its head. Instead of listing out features and functions, you need to start from the user experience:
Allow function to dictate form (on the inside, at least)
Now that you know what your wearable experience will be like, it’s time to evaluate its actual construction. Here’s an example. Wearables will almost universally require extremely long battery life, while demanding a lot of data gathering in between. Those seem at first glance to be contradictory goals, but:
That’s just one example, but it drives home the importance of evaluating the form your wearable takes on the workbench based on the function you want to perform for the user.
Using the best possible components
When deciding on components, it’s a good practice to look at what other successful wearable manufacturers have used in their products. If they perform well (both in reviews and sales), you know that they’re doing the build right. Here are a couple of teardowns that show popular wearable fitness watches with their Silicon Labs components.
Misfit Shine by Sparkfun
That’s a Silicon Labs EFM32 Leopard Gecko MCU providing the Shine’s long battery life.
Fitbit Surge by ifixit
Again, you can see that the engineers for Fitbit chose a Silicon Labs Gecko MCU, only this time they went with the Giant Gecko model with its ARM Cortex M-3 processor.
These choices, from Misfit and Fitbit, harken back to our discussion on form following function. They wanted long battery life, with lots of processing power. So they chose Silicon Labs MCUs.
If you’d like more information on winning the wrist, grab our whitepaper “Winning Design Strategies for the Wearable Market” and dive right in!
If you have any questions or thoughts, please feel free to share them below.
Very great and nice information .Thanks for sharing good information i am so excited after read your whole website.
<a href="http://www.pain-institute.com/chronic-hip-pain-causes-symptoms-treatments/" title="hip pain treatment">hip pain treatment</a>
|Continue the good work; keep posting more n more n more.|
|merchant cash advance leads|
|I have been dotty by reading your blog because it has a unique data. |