Wearables are finally starting the leave that awkward phase at the start of any technology’s life cycle: the chicken and egg scenario. This is where you don’t have many uses for your hardware because there isn’t much software to back it up with so not many people are buying it, but it’s only not being developed for because not many people own it. It’s a vicious circle, but fortunately it’s most over with. If any aspects of the wearable industry was still stuck in this loop however, Strap looks likely to fix that, as it makes it so much easier for developers to create third party applications for a number of different wearables.
Using the StrapKit platform, programmers and bedroom coders can put together applications that work across a variety of products. A few quick changes will make your Pebble App work fine on Google Glass, or on a Jawbone fitness tracker, or Samsung’s Gear smartwatches. It’s so versatile, that in the future it’s been suggested it may even be able to take Android specific applications and make them work fine on iOS without much effort from the developer.
This is huge news for smaller startup developers that want to make a killer app for wearables but are unsure about which one to support. With StrapKit they can support all of them with minimal expenditure in time and finances.
“The challenges of fragmentation and increasing data points make it very difficult for existing app developers to jump in with both feet,” said Strap CEOSteve Caldwell. With Strap however, that should no longer be the case.
The only worry would be if Strap itself wasn’t in great financial shape. Fortunately, as Cininnati Business Courier points out, Strap has just landed itself a $1.25 million investment, so it’s covered for now.
Not only will Strap’s growth help smaller developers, but it’s also going too benefit the industry as with more multi-platform apps, every wearable should have a much larger number of potential uses before long. That in turn, means consumers will have better products and will be more likely to buy them, further accelerating wearable growth and adoption.
The only potential downside to it, is that it could become harder for companies to differentiate themselves from the competition. No doubt this will lead to Apple circling its wagons even more and creating more bespoke apps. It will be interesting to see how it deals with Android apps being made compatible with its iOS devices. I can imagine it won’t be pleased.