Nearshore Americas

iTexico Tackles Wearables For the Enterprise

While most might associate wearable technology with their fitness tracker or smart-watch and can be seen as a gimmick, but these wearable technologies have applications in the business environment as well.

David Sandoval, Creative Delivery Manager, emphasized that user experience and design are crucial in wearables.
David Sandoval, Creative Delivery Manager, emphasized that user experience and design are crucial in wearables.

The market for wearables is growing. According to IDTechEX, wearables will grow to $20 billion in 2015 and scale to nearly $70 billion by 2025.

Austin, Texas headquartered iTexico, which has a software development and delivery center in Guadalajara, Mexico and a regional office in Silicon Valley, is targeting two main markets. The first is the consumer market that most associate with wearable technology. The second is the less well-known enterprise market, where iTexico believes it can really differentiate its offerings.

The company’s recent enterprise project for a midmarket client focused on bring time-tracking functionality to workforce wearables.

ataxic's wearables project for a mid market enterprise client aimed to integrate time-tracking functionality from an existing system function into an app for those employees using wearables.
iTexico’s wearables project for a mid market enterprise client aimed to integrate time-tracking functionality from an existing system function into an app for those employees using wearables. The image above details the functionality of the feature for the user. Management level visibility was a crucial aspect of the app design, as was usability and intuitiveness.

“The focus is on trying to optimize all the processes internally for the workforce. Wearables have become, especially among the younger generation, a big deal,” said Creative Delivery Manager David Sandoval.

The project focused on creating an app that interfaces with an existing time-tracking function within the organization. “So they know when to clock in and clock out, look into accounts and it is easier for them to track how much time they have spent on a project or task,” he said.

This is an extension of a larger tool, but the focus for the wearable app is the time-tracking piece. The app offers management level visibility to allow managers to track progress and time spent on specific tasks.

On a bigger scale the challenge of developing for enterprise market wearables is to identify what the needed features are, the minimum set of features for a test to be done well. “Making it simple, but not too simple is the challenge. It is about drawing that line,” he said.

Sandoval said that wearables have yet to take off in the enterprise market, but they are seeing increasing interest. In the vein of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), those companies that are looking to wearable offerings are adopting a BYOW (Bring Your Own Wearable) approach.

Another of iTexico's wearables development projects was for a large restaurant client who wanted a wearables app to handle its loyalty programme and facilitate payment through it.
Another of iTexico’s wearables development projects was for a large restaurant client who wanted a wearables app to handle its loyalty programme and facilitate payment through it.

Prototyping and user testing are vital in such a context as a wearable is a very personal, intimate piece of technology. “The time for prototyping is two to three weeks, depending on how much access we have to the user base,” Sandoval said. With the enterprise app, it was clear that the time-tracking feature was the core functionality needed.

The important aspects of the development are less about the technical aspects and more about user interface and design. It is important to make sure that the feature being implemented is feasible and is not a forced experience. “It has to be fast, it has to be quick, it has to be intuitive,” Sandoval said.

The prototyping process for the enterprise time-tracking app has already yielded valuable feedback and iTexico has identified another part to be added to the feature list.

Photo by Intel Free Press
One of the challenges for iTexico going forward is integrating the app across all types of wearables. The Apple Watch has been the key wearable for many of iTexico’s projects, but it is by no means the only type of wearable. Indeed wearables extend beyond smartwatches and as the market evolves, developers will need to strategize around design for these other devices. Photo by Intel Free Press.

Other wearable projects have aligned with the consumer market and iTexico is working with a large client in the restaurant industry on a wearable iteration of its loyalty programme and a security and health client that serves the university market on a lockdown app.

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While iTexico is increasingly developing in this space, it is not yet clear when there will be widespread adoption of wearables across the enterprise market. “Over the next couple of years, we are really going to find out if this is going to be the next revolution. The jury is still out on that, but interest is such that we are having a conversation regularly,” Sandoval said.

Bianca Wright

NSAM Managing Editor Bianca Wright has been published in a variety of magazines and online publications in the UK, the US and South Africa, including Global Telecoms Business, Office.com, SA Computer Magazine, M-Business, Discovery.com, Business Start-ups, Cosmopolitan and ComputorEdge. She holds a MPhil degree in Journalism from the University of Stellenbosch and a DPhil in Media Studies from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

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