3Pillar CEO David DeWolf was recently quoted in a Fast Company article on the growing importance of software in the booming wearables space. The article is titled “Why We Don’t Talk About ‘Wearable Software'” and puts forward the notion that while wearable devices like Google Glass, Fitbit, and the Jawbone UP are the subject of much media attention, real innovation in the space will come from the software that powers these devices.
Among the trends that journalist Tina Amirtha cites to prove her point is Nike’s shift away from creating future editions of their popular FuelBand to instead focus on creating a robust ecosystem of fitness apps. Google and Apple also recently unveiled major initiatives in the space, with the introduction of Google Fit and HealthKit, respectively.
In the article, David talks about the fact that hardware is the “wrapping paper,” so to speak, of wearable technology. He explains that while it is important to have a well-designed product, the real value of wearable technology will come from the actionable data these devices provide, which relies predominantly on software. As David says, ““The reality is that hardware has very little value, over time, to a consumer. It’s fun, it’s sexy; they’re things that early adopters want to play with. But, over time, the value comes from the insight, the analytics that gives us software that runs on these devices or integrates with these devices.”
Also mentioned in the article is a company called Athos, which is in the process of creating a fitted shirt that will measure muscle performance during workouts via embedded sensors. Athos and products like it are something David foresaw earlier this year in a “predictions for 2014” article he wrote for Pando Daily, Taking Wearables From Trend to the Wardrobe.
Fast Company is the world’s leading progressive business media brand, with a unique editorial focus on innovation in technology, ethical economics, leadership, and design. This article was published under their Co.Labs section, which offers a fast-moving look at the methods, philosophies, and concepts of creative technologists who are pushing industries into the future.