In earlier posts about categorizing IoT and wearable marketplaces, I explored two categorizations, based on:
- Whether the device needs a mobile phone or tablet for full functionality
- Absence or presence of screen, as well as the size and capabilities of the screen
In this post, we explore another way to slice this marketplace based on the type of interactions you can do with the device.
Read-Only or Read-Write?
Are you just a content consumer or can you also produce and contribute content via these devices?
This is an important criteria in deciding your strategy for building content, services, and applications for wearables.
Many devices only allow you to read or consume information (or service). For example, most health and activity trackers let you view statistics and other health information. However, you typically can’t do much beyond view that information.
Many other classes of wearables, however, have the capacity to do much more than just view information. You can share articles with others, comment on them, and even do basic workflow tasks (e.g., approve a news story). Smart watches are a good example of devices with such capabilities, and many publishers now have apps for watches that allow you to do things beyond viewing.
Finally, there are devices that are somewhere in-between. They are read-only for you but internally, they generate additional data that goes back to a back-end. For example, some wearables generate GPS data that can then be sent back to the server to generate charts and graphs.
Once you categorize devices like this, you can decide what kind of apps to create for each target class of device, and what strategies to pursue in order to target different types of devices effectively. Each of the above device types require different decisions in terms of application development, device and application management, and data models.