Twenty two percent of a surveyed group say the next big thing in mobile computing is in the wearable space. This is the top most response from amongst others such as connected car, mobile health etc. When we talk about mobile computing, we still largely look at it synonymously with smart phone computing. While that takes a significant share of the mobile computing market, wearables in the next big chunk that is coming in.
Wearables is an interesting market. What we test, how we test are all quite different here – a tester needs to make note of these and strategize. This is important to get the required coverage given the global market that wearable devices often target to reach out to. So, how is it all different? Bluetooth, GPS, sensors, wi-fi are some of the core technologies at play in wearables. A lot of importance is needed here for field testing, user focus, and looking at areas where hardware and software need to be tested in unison. A lot of inputs, output tests, battery related tests are important to take on. Similarly, non-functional areas such as performance, usability, security are all very critical to the success of a wearable device and application. However, the market herein is still evolving. Today, security engineering is very basic or almost non-existent in wearables. For example, Google glass hardly offers any security and privacy – a glass once lost, is permanently in the hands of the recipient with all data in there also compromised. Also, since a device is something that you wear, the fashion appeal is very critical. The ones with a better fashion appeal have a greater chance of succeeding in the market. All of these again force the tester to be not just a regular tester but more of an end user, in the space of wearable computing.
The market size herein is huge – wearables are expected to be a thirty five billion dollar market by 2018. Given the new set of tests that need to be covered, there is a greater need for test optimization, tests that are unique to wearables and tests that are specific to the wearable app under test. When these three factors are accounted for, there is a good chance, you have a solid strategy to test for your wearable app in combination with the wearable device.