Wearables, smart houses, smart cars - the next frontier of app development
As the smartphone market continues to mature, some people are already looking ahead to the next big thing. When Apple introduced the iPhone, the smartphone revolution had officially begun. However, there has not yet been a similar product released in the realm of the “internet of things” that has brought regular consumers to the market. But companies are investing more time and money into developing the next big tech revolution, and app developers have a change to get in on the ground floor of a (slowly) emerging market.
The idea for a fully connected “smart” house is not a new one, but the idea is finally becoming reality today. Household items like thermostats and smoke alarms are already being digitized. Manufacturers are already developing kitchen appliances which can be controlled by an app. And, as Smart TVs become more popular, more opportunities will arrive to fully digitize the home.
This emerging market could be the most difficult for app developers to break in to. At the moment, most “smart house” apps are developed and controlled by companies like GE or LG. However, devs should keep an eye on this market. Appliance makers are looking to make their appliances connect to WiFi and Bluetooth, which could be the moment when the demand for smart house-ready apps increases.
Though still in its infant stage, “smart” cars have progressed much further than smart houses. Android and iOS are already racing to be the default operating system for the next generation of cars.
Since the market is still so fragmented, it can be difficult for app developers because there are different sets of standards in place for different car manufacturers because they have to adhere to driver safety regulations. Some only allow native apps, while others have a strict review process for any third-party apps.
It will be interesting to see how connected cars progress into the 2015 models. If car makers begin looking for a very specific set of apps, it could turn into a lucrative market for some app developers.
Tech manufacturers seem pretty convinced that wearables are “the next big thing”. Even though consumers have been slow to adopt new wearable technologies, interest is starting to increase. Most notably, consumers have begun to adopt “smart watches”, especially ones which are related to fitness and fitness
tracking. Samsung’s smart watch did not fare well on the market, but other smart watch makers have seen marginal success. This market is destined to explode in the next few years, and devs should be thinking about how to either develop new apps or optimize any current apps to a smaller, less powerful screen.
The other major wearable tech trend is smart glasses. Google Glass has been in the news for about a year now, with Glass 2 already available to “Explorers”.
It seems like Google is taking their time developing both the hardware and the software for this new wearable, but they have begun to invite developers to explore Google Glass so they can optimize their apps to the wearable technology. Apple is also rumored to be developing wearable technology, and they recently acquired the 3D-sensing technology company responsible for Microsoft’s Kinect.
The buzz around these areas of smart technology is palpable; all we need is the breakthrough product to bring these tech trends to the average consumer. When that happens, app developers should be ready!
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