As you load up your smartphone with apps and buy peripherals for your tablet, consider that the future might be devices that do less -- or rather, they do one thing, do it well, and possibly while intimately attached to your body or your clothes. That's the idea behind a new technology by WIMM Labs, which they say can be embedded into everything from a wristwatch-sized screen that sends visual medication reminders, to a clip-on pedometer that can act as a total fitness companion.
Wearable tech has been evolving for decades, but WIMM's modular platform makes it more lucrative for designers and developers. An Android-based operating system paired with hardware features like a touchscreen, accelerometer, and magnetometer are supplemented by a Micro App store and services that enable licensees to quickly apply the technology. "They aren't fully functioning apps you'd find on standard app stores," says WIMM's vice president of product marketing Tim Twerdahl. "They'll deliver a simplified experience appropriate for our device."
As far as the actual gadget you'll be strapping onto your arm, WIMM is open to new ideas, so what becomes of their platform will be up to the licensees they work with. But they've come up with eight potential device concepts that they think could tackle everything from fitness to business. Now they're looking for software developers and product designer who can expand the boundaries of their technology.
While multitasking gadgets crammed full of bonus features might seem like the norm now, Twerdahl thinks a wearable, micro experience is the next natural progression. "Screen size is getting smaller, yet access is more frequent," he says. "Mobile form factors allow us to work anywhere, anytime, but we see a market that needs more streamlined, intuitive information delivery on the go."