smartwatch-828786_640Checking the time on your Apple Watch or answering a phone call are pretty obvious use cases for these devices, but is there a killer app for wearables that your $600 can get you?  According to a survey by Wristly, nothing seems to stand out.

If there isn’t a must-have or killer app to change the way people think about wearables, will more people or companies embrace them?  Here are 3 reasons mobile devices have been able to offer the killer apps that wearables haven’t:

Screen Size and UI

  • Readability has been a strength for smartphones and a challenge for smart wearables that simply weren’t designed for the same purpose.  While displaying the same images or material is possible, many messaging or media apps make more sense on the UI and screen size of smartphones and tablets.

Lack of Clinical Data

  • In order for wearables to be embraced in the medical community, the fitness tracking technology needs to expand beyond a consumer device to become a major focus in healthcare.  Estimates project that wearable accuracy can be 10-15 percent off in calculating calories burned, which doesn’t help digital health companies needing clinical trials from hospitals.
  • Companies like Valencell, a Raleigh based wearable tech firm, are banking on its wearable sensors being more accurate than those in the Fitbit or Apple Watch, but still have a ways to go to be compared to expensive biometric sensors not found in consumer devices.

 Wearables Depend on the SmartphoneApple_Watch_template

  • The smartphone is the lifeline and backbone to smart wearable technology and is where rich, native apps are being developed by healthcare systems and brands.  Mobile apps are here to stay, and companies are looking to tackle the task of creating mobile apps first.
  •  Whether the wearable app market will mature is anyone’s guess, but for now studies show that 64 percent of Americans own a smartphone, compared to just 15 percent that own activity trackers that are strongly tied to smartphone apps.

For more on what data is revealing for apps and wearables, download our free whitepaper:


eBook:  Apps and Wearables in Healthcare – What Works?