According to Gartner, wearable fitness and personal health devices are on the rise in popularity. Despite the fact that many prominent wearable devices have hit the market in the past year, there is a surprising lack of apps. And without an associated app, there is little reason to buy a wearable device. Technology providers will need to consider how to better market to consumers and stand out in a marketplace crowded with competitors. And what better way to reach consumers than where they already spend most of their time, in apps. In fact, one in two millennials said they would be strongly motivated to wearables if it “has apps/features that reward those who frequently use it,” according to PWC.
An app designed uniquely for a wearable device will make the device more compelling to consumers as well as provide developers and device manufacturers with key data points on their consumers that can lead to better optimization of the device. And the best app for your wearable device includes location - here are three reasons why:
#1 Collect user data to complete the user profile
Wearable apps need location-based contextual awareness to present a complete picture of each activity throughout a user’s day. With an associated app, wearables can collect even more user data. If the app has location services turned on, you can take a look at patterns in where users go and complete the user profile. Having a history of precise location tied to a device opens up the ability to categorize behavior at a granular level. Add venue level context to each precise location and you have a story of the device behavior called a Persona.
#2 Personalizing the user experience
Personas are useful for knowing who your users are and how to personalize the experience. For example, if you know that 70% of your users are coffee lovers maybe there is an opportunity to partner with a coffee chain or personalize the user experience based on where users spend their time. For instance, the associated wearable app could prompt you to create a new step goal based on the distance of the starbucks in the area. Or it can take your current step goal and prompt you to take the route that will bring you to the Starbucks in order to complete it. “We notice you have this step goal today, take this route to the Starbucks to complete your goal and get a Starbucks.”
Or if the app knows you are a “New Mom” it can populate the app with specific workouts and diets to lose the baby weight.
Knowing the user’s location can also allow the app to record historical past routes and suggest new routes to take your morning run.
Wearable apps should take advantage of the fact that the device they are associated with is on the user at all times, some even when they sleep. This allows for a much more intimate and personal experience.
#3 Create dynamic user experiences with modes
People use wearable fitness apps for different reasons depending on where they are. With geofencing, the app can know if the user is at home or at the gym and create an experience based on location. If the app knows a user walks into the gym it can activate “Gym Mode”, bringing up past workouts, comparative statistics, favorite workout playlists, new workout challenges, etc. If the app knows the user is at home the app changes to “Home Mode” where it prompts the user to plan workouts for the week, log weight, plan meals and create grocery lists to encourage healthy eating.
Geofencing can also be used to geoconquest unhealthy restaurants. For example, if a user walks into a McDonald's the app can alert the user of other healthy restaurants in the area. When you do enter a restaurant the app can change to “Restaurant Mode” to upload the menu and highlight the healthy items, bring up the nutrition information and remind you to log what you eat.
Location-based context empowers wearable apps to create dynamic mobile experiences that endear users and maximize profitability using geofencing, anonymized personas and venue-level profiles. Contextual location data encourages positive behaviors as they happen and can anticipate how to help users stay active and on top of their goals.