Despite their tiny size, smartwatches have big shoes to fill. They evoke Dick Tracy’s video watch, Ethan Hunt’s myriad wearable tech, and Q’s parade of futuristic gadgets that 007 inevitably destroys. These fictional contraptions recognize their owners and their owners’ needs, powering up exactly when required with critical information or the means to escape a sticky situation. James Bond’s gun in Skyfall is so personalized that it only fires when in contact with his distinct palm print.
Of course, these iconic devices are still science fiction—but that hasn’t stopped them from creating sky-high expectations. In our recent collaboration with AnswerLab to uncover the value of today’s smartwatches, participants in our study referenced Hollywood gadgets as a major motivation for wanting smartwatches of their own. Then we saw their disappointment as they experimented with apps that had no clue who they were or what they were trying to do.
Our participants wanted to feel that brands recognized them—they wanted to feel “known.” And they looked to their watches to transform data from multiple sources into meaningful, tailored information. Generic apps that ignored participants’ current context or failed to account for past behaviors and preferences didn’t live up to this vision.
What works: For users who text in multiple languages, Apple’s texting app remembers and provides the appropriate keyboard and shortcuts for each contact. And Apple’s activity app gives users tailored reminders and encouragement based on their personal fitness goals.
What doesn’t: Amazon’s app doesn’t show or allow users to purchase items already in their carts. Nor does it offer opportunities to re-create previous purchases or past searches.
One participant’s take: She was looking for specific recommendations, not numbers. “I don’t just want my heart rate. What should I do about it?”
Your customers don’t get value from a data dump. Instead, connect the dots—help them recognize patterns in their health, finances, and behaviors. To do it, you’ll need to get intimate with your users through serious user research and data analysis.
To learn more about what drives smartwatch value, why it matters, and how to get started, download your FREE copy of Smartwatch Apps That Work: 5 Value Drivers To Make Your App Indispensable.