THE WEARABLES STAND-OFF We’ll experience
a ﬂood of wearables in 2014, and consumers will start to discover great experiences in both the €70-€150 and the €200-€500 segments. Right now Samsung is aiming at this market, but start-ups are entering at breathtaking speed with a dizzying range of concepts. " " The most hotly anticipated entries will be by Apple and LG, based on curved displays. Expect to see these for Christmas 2014. Curved displays could be the objects that transform the market: doing for wearables what the touch interface did for phones." " Cheap, fun wearables driven by fashion will be a exciting market. Most will still be built around rectangular displays that link with smartphones." " " " " Google should provide a wearables-speciﬁc platform or it may experience " unprecedented fragmentation as players rush to market with their designs. " WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR" Consumer electronics companies led by Samsung build market awareness. Wearables get transformed through curved displays. Apple enters with a big bang. Lots of hype, modest sales and initial consumer disappointment. Massive fragmentation as makers drive for proprietary platforms.
SMARTWATCH GOES UPMARKET The biggest
and most proﬁtable segment for watches is between €500-€2500, and it will also be the holy grail for wearable makers. " " Most incumbents in the watch industry will keep their thinking in the mechanical era, relying on the long-term value of mechanical movements, leaving new entrants to focus on critical electronics, materials and branding." " We will see the ﬁrst attempts by emerging brands to enter at this pricepoint with innovative offerings. This bodes well for a long term disruption, but we think existing watchmakers unlikely to be threatened in 2014 by smartwatch innovators. " " Millennials will drive the new smartwatch brands using sophisticated social media unfamiliar to the mechanical makers. Meta Watch, who got star designer Frank Nuovo to design their next generation of devices, is heading upmarket." " WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR" Titanium and ﬁner materials enter. Fusion of mechanics and electronics. New brands enter with exclusive niche offerings. Leading mechanical incumbents provide innovative offerings.
YEAR OF THE CONNECTED SPORTS
WATCH After the frenetic race to integrate GPS, the sports watch vendors will now turn their attention to Bluetooth LE. This turns the smartphone into a sports hub - a user’s primary focus point for performance and training analysis. " " By opening up sports watches to web services, the dynamic could be altered from silo services to a platform-based ecosystem." " But complexity, leading to poor usability, is still a major obstacle for many players. This could be a disruption opportunity for generic smartwatch providers who can start with casual services and then add specialist applications." " Omegawave’s adaptive training plan based on pre-exercise measurements will be a trendsetter in changing training habits." " But some old problems will remain: touch screens, rain and water are still a bad combination. " WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR" Round vs rectangle is a major design question for next generation sports wearables. Wearables transformed through curved displays. PANs (Presonal Area Networks) emerge in the sports sector.
BIRTH OF HEALTH & HAPPINESS
WEARABLES A new segment of low cost, high performance wearables will emerge, leveraging microcontrollers like Coretex M4 - the Sony Smart Watch 2, for example." WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR" " These relatively low cost (€99 - €149) wearables will be driven by fashion and style, and will create a new segment Koru calls ‘Health and Happiness’." Fun, affordable wearables built " on top of microcontrollers. " Rich lifestyle segmentation emerges; the digital Swatch " is born. H&H devices will mix fun and utility. Their experiences are gamiﬁed, vivid in colour and loud in style - doing for wearables what Swatch did to the watch industry. " They’ll require new types of software platforms." " Who ever moves ﬁrst and boldly into this segment will score big. It’s not likely to be Apple or Samsung; we predict that this is where new brands will emerge, true fusions of technology and fashion. " " The size of this trend depends on how much the Millennials become bored with their smartphones and tablets. We think they are yearning for something new. H&H wearables could be the surprise in 2014." This is the segment where the teenagers make a worn item part of their identity, like their parents and grandparents before them. Self-centricity & social will be the killer apps.
A JUNGLE OF WEARABLE APP
" PLATFORMS Wearable apps will become a mess for users and a headache for developers. Which platforms to build for, what to build, and how to make money? The sports apps platform will be a real land grab. " " But there are some positive signs. Pebble is seeing a growing community of app developers and will launch an app store. Suunto has pioneered applications and has more that 10,000 available apps, of which half are public and the rest are built by fans for themselves. " " WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR" Unique deep segmentation takes hold in sports wearable segment. Fragmentation and confusion emerge in the marketplace. Developers sit on the fence to await sales numbers. Sony has opened up their Smart Watch to developers and the ﬁrst paid apps have emerged. Samsung has an invite-only programme, but is likely to open up for developers soon." Pebble builds a cult following. " With app personalization and suitable functionality, the running watch can start understanding Zumba, kickboxing and every other sport. We expect every smartwatch provider to build their own app store, and consumers to experience a lawless jungle by 2015. "
DESIGNING FOR A 24/7 DIGITAL
LIFE Form factor, choice of materials, and size will play a crucial role in persuading users to sleep with their devices and wear them 24/7." " Starting with the alarm clock, the smart use of vibration will become a killer asset, beginning a shift from visual interfaces to haptic experiences. In 2014 we’ll take the ﬁrst steps to these kinds of notiﬁcations, and perhaps see the ﬁrst generation of haptic messaging." " Jawbone is a pioneer in 24/7 wearables, and their newly designed offering now provides better software management for 24/7 digital life. They are busy shrinking the acceptable size for 24/7 wearables, and could make a big leap. " " Constant pulse sensing will enter the market as Basis shrinks and players like PulseOn get their products to market. We also expect to see wearable integrations with solutions like the Beddit sleep sensor." " WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR" New soft materials emerge" to increase comfort. Constant 24/7 pulse sensing becomes a reality. Vibration becomes a haptic interface for notiﬁcations.
DRESSING UP SIRI: A MORE
INTIMATE VOICE? Apple has been actively recruiting staff from the fashion industry and sourcing components from the luxury industry. Will these new recruits help dress up Siri, who is currently invisible? " " Do we really still need glowing rectangles for personal intimate experiences? " " Moviemaker Spike Jonze made the female voice invisible in his ﬁlm ‘Her’, while wearables from Misﬁt have made the traditional user interface disappear. Google and Samsung have demonstrated that voice will become a critical input method for wearables. " " Nuance voice biometrics, meaning that a user’s voice can be detected in the clutter of sound, combined with contextual understanding could be ﬁrst steps to make the interface ﬁnally dissolve, and let style take over technology. " WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR" Screen-free user interfaces. Context experiences centered on the Now. Nuance as industry enabler.
MAKING SENSE FROM STEPS: AN
INDUSTRY METRIC WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR" The ﬁrst wearables were connected pedometers. Now, counting a user’s daily steps and aggregating them will become more valuable. " Steps take on extra value as data. " Innovations follow in making sense of steps. Its value is logical: we can start to measure market shares of engaged users. This will spawn a ﬂurry of innovation in making sense of steps. " " Mobile solutions like Moves provide inspiration and will challenge the makers of wearables. Nike’s vision of turning Fuel into a currency will start to take shape. Members of the ‘Million Fuel point club’ could start to get discount coupons, as Nike extends Nike+ into a loyalty programme, leapfrogging competition. " " The industry is rushing towards the human motion graph, as footstep data becomes a killer asset in the ‘Age of Context’." First moves towards the human motion graph become reality.
UNDERSTANDING LIFE 24/7 WAKES UP
FACEBOOK WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR" For the ﬁrst time, ‘wearing Facebook’ makes the social network ubiquitous. Facebook may ﬁnally start to leverage its promise of the social graph and true contextuality. " Facebook must adapt to wearables. " These ‘24/7 Lifelines’ will become a standard user experience for wellness wearables and could be a ﬁrst killer app for wearables. But how will Facebook deal with this 24/7 life?" " Koru doubts that just putting a silo Facebook app into a wearable will be compelling enough, but if Facebook is not innovating around these moments, they will probably soon ﬁnd another Instagram-sized company to acquire. " " " Others will ﬁght vigorously to be the Lifeline of Choice. Once you are committed, changing services may feel difﬁcult, as the data is deep sensory information from your body. " 24/7 Lifelines become part of social networking experience. Deep sensory information is collected by innovators.
THE BIRTH OF SOCIAL WEARABLES
We believe social media will drive wearables in the long term. 2014 will see many of these kind of wearable concepts being tested through crowdfunding efforts." " But creating a wearable of this type means creating a new habit or modifying an existing one, and it’s not a simple matter." " The well designed social wearable Bond is an example, devising a system of ‘tickles’ for users, but could not attract funds through its campaign. Persistent innovators will succeed and one day we ask how could we live without wearable emotional messaging." " Koru suspects that the target audience and crowd founders are simply not connecting." " Some of the concepts should never have seen the light of in the ﬁrst place. Big company R&D labs are full of similar projects… they could be lying in the drawer waiting for better times." WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR" Finding the right value proposition for social media wearables. We’ll see real innovators: the internet is about communication, and so wearables will be about communication.
SMART RINGS MAKE A DEBUT
Small is beautiful, and humans have enjoyed wearing rings on their ﬁngers for millennia. " " Smart rings will offer two unique wearable beneﬁts: one hand operation, and near instant access. We are now at a point where Smart rings will be technically possible, and set to be a new segment in 2014. " " Will they be a substitute for a smart watch or armband, or a complement? Long term, Koru think they will become complements, but short term they will attract the curiosity of early adopters." " " Since they cannot have traditional user interfaces, they will need to become powerful platforms for gestural interactions. Rings are thus a real innovation opportunity for important interaction IPR. " WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR" Innovation in interaction design. Novel ways to conserve energy and manage charging. Fusion of jewelry and luxury. Still rooted in jewelry: ‘diamonds are a girl’s best friend’.
KORU MISSION THE KORU MISSION
IS TO BUILD THE VERY FINEST WEARABLE SOFTWARE EXPERIENCE TO EMPOWER MAKERS OF NEXT GENERATION WEARABLES. EVERY LIFESTYLE : ONE SW PLATFORM
TECHNOLOGY & SERVICES OFFER Technology
• Koru SW Platform is small, fast and modern in architecture. It will enable creation of the smallest, fastest and most customization-friendly wearables. Koru UI Design • Our UI design is geared towards a chrome-free look and unique style for diﬀerent lifestyles. Koru Service Design • Our design-by-prototyping approach ensures that same platform can be used from concepting to ﬁnal product, saving time and ensuring quality.