Developing your own wearable product involves a lot of compromises. Size is the most prominent design constraint, though almost every aspect of the development will likely involve trade-offs. It is therefore important to consider the design priorities, use case, and product requirements.
Follow These Tips To Develop Wearable Products
The first thing to do is consider all of the product requirements. This means taking not of requirements such as WiFi, cameras, GPS, a biometric sensor, wireless charging, accelerometer, and so on. If there is cellular connectivity, then make sure to consider telecommunication network security.
Of course, knowing the use case behind the wearable product is a prerequisite for this (i.e. will it have neobank features?), but hopefully, you already know what you want the product to achieve.
Of course, the more functions that your product requires, the more energy it will use. Usually, developers will cram as much battery as possible in their product, but it remains one of the largest components of the product.
There are many challenges and issues of embedded software development. You will need to make sure the software is stable, safe, and compatible. Once your software is making correct use of the hardware, it will then be important to consider over-the-air updates, debugging, and connectivity. Use software development metrics to help optimization, and the TestOp methodology to improve interdepartmental software and performance testing. IT security services will be of paramount importance when developing the software.
Generally, wearable products innovate very quickly. In five years, hardware has gotten smaller, energy consumption is more efficient, and design priorities from customers may have changed too.
The next consideration is to find out how long your product lasts with the current battery choice, given its functionality. This is a process that can be constantly optimized. Perhaps, if the user is going for a run, it’s evident that they no longer require WiFi. Automatically turning certain connectivity off can dramatically decrease power consumption. The same goes for sensors, which use energy yet will not always require being active, such as when the user is asleep. For example, the GPS receiver can be turned off if the accelerometer isn’t active, because it’s obvious that the watch couldn’t have possibly moved position.
The display is arguably the biggest culprit of draining the battery, so it’s important to get this right. Functions such as auto-brightness and sleeping whenever possible can preserve consumption.
Outsource The Hard Work
Your processor will be required to work hard during many of the wearable product functions. However, ask yourself, does it have to be this processor? Your wireless connectivity could be used to its advantage, because it may always be connected to a smartphone – a device with extremely high-performing processor speeds.
So, it’s possible to offload some of the processor workloads onto the phone, perhaps making the watch the input (sensors) and output (display screen), whilst the smartphone does most of the processing, such as interpreting the data.
Finally, it’s possible that you haven’t got too many components or an oversized battery but instead have inefficiently stacked them all together. The interconnections are an important part of this, because they need to be reliable, but can (and should) be kept as small as possible.
Thermal management is an important consideration. Neglecting this will lead to a failure of certain components, and of course, the user shouldn’t feel the heat either.