Wearable Technology Will Keep Mobile App Developers in Overdrive

It will take a small army of developers to handle the job of building apps for smart watches, smart glasses and other electronic bling, also known as wearable technology.

An article by James Fields on Tennessean.com points out that three products are poised to move wearable technology beyond the novelty stage: Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smart watch, Google Glass and the Apple iWatch. The latter two are expected to be released to the public in the next year.

Current Demand for Mobile App Developers

Building apps for mobile has been a top IT priority in 2013, according to an Information Week survey. Forty-one percent of business technology respondents say they are adding to their current stable of custom mobile apps. Another 24 percent are developing apps for the first time.

Not surprisingly, the top target platforms for these efforts are Android and iOS. Windows phone 7.x and 8 have generated moderate interest, and BlackBerry 10 OS seems to be little more than an afterthought.

Candidates with the appropriate skill set are already hard to find. There is a lack of relevant curriculum offered by higher education, leaving hands-on experience as a key job requirement. This supply and demand is pushing up salary levels for mobile app developers.

Building Apps for Wearable Technology

Just as wearable tech will exponentially increase the number of devices on the market, the variety of interfaces and types of executions will likewise multiply. Consider the SmartWig for which Sony has recently filed a patent: Raising an eyebrow can trigger the movement of slides in a presentation, and ultrasound waves can be sent out for object detection. Creativity and innovation will be the driving forces for developers in this arena.

As featured on CNN, a recent example of the growth of jobs around wearable technology is Nike’s new Nike+ Fuel Lab. Following the success of the Nike+ FuelBand, the company created the lab to give 10 partner companies workspace and a $50,000 budget to build software that integrates with Nike products. In return, Nike will also get a three percent stake in each company.

Revenue for wearable technology is projected to reach $20 billion by 2017, with many devices waiting for apps to bloom into full functionality. Mobile app developers will be the engine that drives these products from novelties to standard life tools. It will be quite a ride into the future for those envisioning and building apps that redefine how we wear apparel and accessories.

Let us know your thoughts on wearable technology. Mobile app developers: How has this trend affected you so far?