Digital Health

Wearable technology and the quantified self

27th August 2014

Motivation through mobile

The market for wearable technology is anticipated to grow from over $14 billion in 2014 to an astonishing $70 billion by 2024.  It’s a trend that’s empowering millions of people to dust of their Nike running trainers and hit the gym with a vengeance. What’s happening – is that device manufacturers are tapping into consumer psychology to understand the ‘quantified self’ or the ‘gamification of life’. The quantified self integrates technology and wearable devices into our everyday lives. This social and technological integration is being driven by data relating to our health and fitness practices and the environment that surrounds them. There are a plethora of devices and apps capable of monitoring the number of steps you take, your sleep patterns, heart rate and daily calorie input to name but a few, and the real wearable explosion hasn’t even started yet.

Using data, wearable consumers can make informed and educated decisions relating to activities in everyday life that can dramatically affect health, fitness and wellbeing. Wearable gadgets like Jawbone Up and the Nike Fuelband encourage consumers to set daily goals which can in turn be monitored, measured and optimised over time. They enable users to be more active and help users achieve and realign goals based on historic performance. As users self-optimise their behaviour and achieve their goals, these wearable devices help to continue performance enhancement by suggesting new targets and activities.

Social gamification of wearable technology

Measuring individual performance can have positive effects, but it’s really the social gamification of wearable devices that encourage users to perform better. Many devices have social leaderboards, but given the fragmented nature of the market, there is yet to be a social leaderboard that works across devices and wearable brands. Right now, users have to rely on competing socially via leaderboards with users who wear the same brand of gadget. However this is likely to change.

The future of wearable technology and the Apple iWatch

The quantified self phenomenon is enabling users of wearable technology to gain valuable insight into their fitness activities and bodies, helping them stay healthy and active. Apple are poised to launch the Apple Watch in the next few months, with a heavy focus on active lifestyle engagement and exercise. Wearable is set to be the next big wave in mobile technology and Apple understand the value of the quantified self and elements of social gamification that encourage us to do more, more often. In terms of selling wearable technology, Apple understand that top athletes have always held massive influence over consumers, whether it be through marketing of hair products, toaster grills or underwear. Apple is already working with top athletes to bring it firmly into mainstream consciousness.

Wearable technology app development for UK brands

If you’re a brand interested in developing apps for wearable technology, now is a great time to get ahead of the competition. There are highly lucrative rewards for CEO’s, marketers and software development managers who are poised to enter this rapidly expanding market before the competition. At Waracle, we’ve been developing and optimising mobile apps for some of the UK’s biggest and most innovative businesses since 2007 and now – the future of wearable technology is truly upon us. If you’re curious about what wearable technology can do to turbo charge your business in the future, contact us today to start the conversation.

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