A talk I gave at the City University of Hong Kong Apps Lab "We Can Code" seminar series.
This presentation provides a brief introduction to wearables, their architecture, areas of application and outlook for the near future. It also highlights salient aspects of wearable design (fashion, social, functional) and concludes with a discussion on the design of apps for Samsung Gear line of smart watches.
Table of Content
• What are wearables ?
• Architecture of Wearables /Sensors
• Notable Examples
• Why Should we care ?
• What are the Applications ?
• Elements of User Interaction Design for
• Whats Next.
What are Wearables
Body worn computers .
• Highly ubiquitous
• Are sensor rich
• Increasingly complex
* “wearables” sometimes used interchangeably with “sensor devices”
• On Shoes
• Embedded in Clothes
• In Jewelry
• Arm Bands
• Chest Bands
• Contact Lenses
Why do we Care
• Next frontier of Consumer Electronics
• Billion Dollar Industry Potential
(estimated at $9.2 billion in 2014, IDTechEx)
• A new paradigm of programmable wearables
(more data to work with, more use cases)
• Its new, and exciting! As developers, there is
opportunity to create the use cases and
establish the wearable hype
What Are the Applications
Wearable payments, authentication
• Health / Wellness / Fitness
Applications in addressing chronic diseases and aiding medical
• Quantified Self
data acquisition on aspects of a person's daily (e.g. food consumed, quality of surrounding air),
states (e.g. mood, arousal, blood oxygen levels), and performance (mental and physical).
• Education and Learning
Research. Opportunities to easily measure things previously unknown or
• Others – entertainment, insurance, automation ..
Designing Interfaces for the
Smartwatch – Samsung Gear 2, Gear S
Why focus on design? Why Smartwatches ? Why Gear ?
Elements of UI for Wearables
Irrespective of your background – Android Java,
Php) e.t.c , designing Apps for the smart watch
wearable form factor still props up challenges.
You will need to design for
- Social / Fashion norms
- Sensing capabilities
- Form and Function.
Social / Fashion Norms
• Smartwatches ARE a fashion accessory.
• Design watchfaces that are meaningful and
• Build social elements into your use case to
• Build trust with known interaction models.
Progress from the Known to the Unknown ,
and update the user along the way.
• Design to empower the user – offer multiple
input options via settings.
Design to leverage sensors for input and
- Accelerometer based gestures. X,y.x – axis
- Leverage vibration for personalized feedback
- Leverage more advanced touch gestures
Swipe, pan, pinch , double tap to expand
interaction model. But teach the user.
- Leverage voice input and TTS
Form and Function
• Be legible 35 px minimum font size.
• Single action per screen . Aim for two
buttons max per screen .
Beware of small text and buttons in games.
• Let each app take care of a given need.
Give as much depth as possible.
• The Gear is meant to be glanceable . Avoid
apps/use cases that require extended continuous use (E.g some games)
• Optimize for Space
Remember to minify your files and remove unused scripts. Limited
Work done ..
A wearable app for
Mental Health and
Next Talk ?
• Installation of the Tizen Wearable IDE
• Developing a sample app interface using
JQuery and Hammer.js for expanded
• Developing a simple pedometer app to
track steps, calories and distance
• Expanding app to track motion, and
making inferences on human activity
Whats Next ?
• An App development Team
Lets make some apps together!
• An app testing Team
Lets build new knowledge in the area of
• Please take the next 2 minutes to fill in
the following form.
Supplemental Learning Materials
• I have written a rich panoply of tutorials to
get you started developing apps for the
Gear 2 line of smartwatch devices.
• Access them at:
Thanks for listening