Wearable Future: Voice Commands And Phone Independence

October 9, 2014 Ben Myers

Cecilia-Abadie-Lynxfit

“I don’t think we’ve found the killer app.”

That’s a bold statement for someone working in the wearable technology, but Cecilia Abadie of wearable fitness platform LynxFit, and a speaker at the upcoming AndroidTO conference, said it without hesitation.

“We’re coming down from the hype, I believe,” she said, referring to the Garner Hype Cycle, which charts expectations and adoption for various technologies.

With the recent release of several Android Wear watches and Apple Watch, developers and designers now face a conundrum of creating for a promising platform with an unknown audience and unrealized potential.

“Quick interactions with voice and listening rather than reading so much.”

Changing interfaces and expectations

Android-Wear-FeaturedAbadie believes that wearables will continue to evolve, displacing the features commonly associated with cell phones, and change expectations for how humans will interact with technology.

“Both smart glasses and smart watches will be more independent from the cell phone,” she said, describing how many people will pick from among a phone, tablet or laptop to suit their needs for the work day or event they’re heading off to.

She also foresees voice becoming the central point of interaction with wearable devices rather than touch. Voice commands and responses from Google Now and Siri are accustoming consumers to this type of screenless interaction.

“It will be become more normalized; quick interactions with voice and listening rather than reading so much.”

“I hope to see applications where people say, ‘I can’t live without it’.”

Reclaiming our senses

“Little by little we’re reclaiming our normal senses, our natural interfaces,” Abadie said. “This is the time where we’re going to regain our voice and our listening. Every new hardware, every new software will have to add this new layer, voice, because users will require this.”

Wearables becoming independent from phones, along with the inclusion of voice commands, will carve out a unique and useful niche for wearables.

“We’re going to start seeing real super-cool use cases and that’s going to be the start of real adoption,” Abadie predicts.

Speaking to developers

Despite the promise of wearable technology such as Google Glass and smart watches, developers are still learning to adapt to their limitations and exploit unique advantages.

“The idea is to get developers inspired to see how they can bring these [devices] into the future,” Abadie said about her upcoming Android For Wearables talk.

“I like to inspire people to think in different ways,” she said about her upcoming AndroidTO Android For Wearables session. “Let them know that they have to open up to all these new opportunities – and also challenges like battery life, like hardware limits.”

The ultimate goal for wearable developers is to create apps that change expectations, Abadie said.

“I hope to see applications where people say, ‘I can’t live without it’.”

See CyanogenMod, Yahoo! Tumblr and more at AndroidTO 2014. Use code ‘Dx399′ for a special $99 rate.

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