Just as smartphones and tablets displaced the once-dominant PC, wearable technology has begun to take over the tech-scene. They have been projected to reach $4.5 billion in revenue this year and $53.2 billion in global retail revenue by 2019 (Juniper Research). These devices are popping up everywhere from smartwatches, fitness bracelets, and even smart-clothing and jewelry, but what if your wearable gadget could potentially save and/or prolong your life?
It is probably safe to say that we have all heard of, worn, or witnessed someone wearing an insulin pump, glucose monitor, hearing aids and/or prescription eye glasses, but we now live in a world where science fiction has turned reality. A world where contact lenses are embedded with microchips that monitor your health while improving your vision (Google and Novartis, “Smart Lens”). A vest that could save your life from sudden cardiac death (Zoll, “LifeVest”). A ‘build your own’ onesie that can detect your infant’s breathing and movement to help reduce SIDS (Mimo, “Smart Infant Monitor”). IBM, Apple, Medtronic, and Johnson & Johnson are even teaming up to develop the HIPAA-enabled “Watson Health Cloud” to collect the estimated million gigabytes of data per individual.
The age of wearable devices is upon us and a revolution in healthcare has emerged. Consumers, Physicians and the medical community, as well as investors, need to know that they can trust the data from the product, so accuracy and availability is essential! Since the risk of life or limb from a fitness bracelet is obviously not as high as the “LifeVest”, safety guidelines have already been drafted to regulate wearable tech devices, as well as the smartphone apps that accompany them. The FDA released its initial draft guidance for General Wellness: Policy for Low Risk Devices on January 20, 2015 and its draft guidance for Medical Device Data Systems, Medical Image Storage Devices, and Medical Image Communications Devices on February 9, 2015. This guidance identifies that they will not regulate “wellness” wearables that encourage a healthy lifestyle or reduce the risk of developing a chronic disease, but wearable Medical Devices that claim to treat, diagnose, or restore a structure or impaired function due to a disease, however, are regulated the same as all other medical devices and do require FDA approval. Basically, your Fitbit isn’t going to be regulated by the FDA as long as its claims are preventative and in a low-risk category. The FDA’s intention is to continue to focus their resources on technology products that pose a higher risk.
These devices offer numerous solutions to patients as well as to physicians and home healthcare professionals, equipping them with tools to track and manage the patients’ health information easily and effectively – ranging from medical and safety critical, to leisure and entertainment. In the case of medical and safety critical, this creates unique concerns and imposes new constraints that existing human factors theories may not fully support.
General Wellness: Policy for Low Risk Devices (Draft Guidance) (January 20, 2015)
Medical Device Accessories: Defining Accessories and Classification Pathway for New Accessory Types (Draft Guidance) (January 20, 2015)
Medical Device Data Systems, Medical Image Storage Devices, and Medical Image Communications Devices (Final Guidance) (February 9, 2015)
Mobile Medical Applications (Final Guidance) (February 9, 2015)
One of the big themes of nearly every SXSW event we attended was personalization. Even events about the Future of TV had panelists talking about supplemental apps or making sure people could watch on the devices they chose. A news discussion with Dan Rather and Dan Pfeiffer also discussed how people consume news on the platforms of their choice, like Facebook and Twitter. Customers are looking for a more personal, customized experience in the place of their choice.
Predictive technology is making big strides in making these more curated experiences accurate. Facebook’s facial recognition technology is making use of their extensive data on user tagging so they can auto-tag your photographs when you post them. This technology may be more accurate than that of law enforcement. Netflix’s House of Cards was famously made by using data to understand that a political drama starring Kevin Spacey directed by David Fincher would be popular. An important consideration with using predictive data for customer recommendations is providing said data to customers.
Personalization is changing the landscape all over. I went to a talk by Karlie Kloss and Sara Wilson about technology and its role in Fashion Week. Models and editors can now deliver a more personal experience to a massive audience using Instagram and Twitter. They can let people into their lives remotely and enable fan interaction. Vogue recently had a cover featuring nine models with large Instagram followings.
Companies are integrating data into their operations in a variety of ways. Capital One is experimenting with personalized financial recommendations AND personalized offers / rewards recommendations in new apps Ideas and Level Money. Ideas provides recommendations for different types of activities in 4 beta markets: NYC, LA, Richmond, and DC. Level Money lets customers link accounts and program in budgets and receive alerts and content depending on their spending.
For television, companies are looking to make the experience more intimate for viewers. Some companies are experimenting with companion apps, especially in the UK. These might let viewers answer quizzes or play related games while watching. Other companies are trying to make promotions / advertisements more personal. For Game of Thrones Season 5, HBO ran a promotion called The Sight in which people would get text messages with video links that would disappear. The videos would be different for different users but communicate small snippets of information about the upcoming season in the guise of visions / dreams. In Spain, Canal + ran a promotion called 19 Reinos that turned all of Spain into an interactive Game of Thrones-themed game played via multiple different channels: Twitter, Facebook, brand websites, and physical stores. Customers all over the world are looking for targeted, personal experiences. User experience research is one way companies try to identify what kinds of experiences are most valuable to customers. Airbnb mentioned that when they redesigned their website, they made sure to keep the hosts involved in the process since their feedback was critical to its success. There was a fantastic talk by Etsy about how user experience feedback, both from users and from their clickstream data, was extremely valuable to their design process and their feature prioritization. Part of Capital One Labs’ approach to every project is a pilot study with 5-10k end users to understand how they’re using the product.
Stay tuned for more SXSW recaps in the coming months!
They say time flies when you’re having fun, but it really flies when you spend your days solving business challenges with smart targeted research. Key Lime Interactive started as just an idea that our CEO, Ania Rodriguez, was inspired at a UX conference to start her own firm by a strong professional woman. Today, Key Lime Interactive works with some of the world’s leading brands to uncover new ways to bridge the gap between user needs and business goals. You may know the story of how our company started, but it sprouted from the idea that if you have a dream and you put your mind to it you can succeed at anything.
Whether you have had first hand experience with us, or just heard great things through the grapevine, we’ve truly enjoyed every minute of the last six years. We’ve been fortunate to work with some of the most intelligent, driven and forward thinking professionals in the industry. We’ve partnered with our clients and worked hard to develop innovative UX research methods. We view ourselves as leaders in the modern workforce and implemented polices to support that vision such as our new vacation policy that gives our employees unlimited vacation hours. Today’s team takes pride in our work and are committed to bringing their A game each and every day, whether they’re at their desk or at the beach.
We’re proud of our culture. We have a phenomenal team of talented professionals who are committed to quality and our clients. We’ve evolved over the past six years growing from two to over twenty-two. We’ve come a long way and look forward to the future.
Here are just a few fun facts we’ve collected over the years:
In 2009 KLI had 1.5 employees. Currently, KLI has 22 employees and an extended network of contractors to field projects in their area of expertise.
Our revenue goals have grown 10 fold in 6 years, and we’re meeting them!
Our client list has grown from 2 to 92.
We’ve conducted over 4,800 moderated users and 15,000 unmoderated users have helped KLI shape products across 13 industries in a global market.
Every single team member has received personal accolades from our client partners. We are appreciated and respected by our clients, partners, peers and colleagues.
Selected to deliver a keynote presentation on KLI’s eye tracking study at the 16th annual Human Computer Interaction conference in Crete, Greece.
by Kathleen Henning and Phil McGuinness In part two of our series on mobile payments, Phil and Kathleen review a few exciting mobile payment options and talk about the near future of mobile payment technology.
Phil: In part one, Kathleen and I field tested the PayPal and Google Wallet apps, two popular forms of mobile payments. However, there are a few up and coming forms of payment that take a different approach to the process.
Due to an unfortunate coincidence, the company ISIS is in the process of changing its name to Softcard to avoid sharing its name with a militant terrorist group. However, that’s not the only obstacle facing Softcard. While Google Wallet restricts the use of Near-Field Communication (NFC) payments to Android, Softcard is bringing these payments to the iPhone as well. In order to do that, users need to make a one-time investment in a special phone case (minimum of $50).
Requiring users to invest additional money to make payments creates a difficult barrier to adoption, especially when NFC payments aren’t yet accepted on a widespread basis. Softcard does, however, address one of our gripes about Google Wallet. It allows users to search for local stores that accept NFC payments. The app also boasts numerous security features on their site, including a PIN entry required before each purchase, the ability to freeze your wallet remotely, as well as using unique transaction IDs for each payment.
Instead of relying on NFC, consumers have another option in LoopPay. LoopPay gets around NFC by imitating credit cards in a way that allows the familiar credit card readers to get the signal. This allows LoopPay to work in almost any store, using the technology that’s already in place. As with Softcard, though, this also requires the user to make an initial investment. At this time, Loop Wallet provides the option of a reasonable $39 for a key fob, or $99 for a charging phone case and key fob.
As NFC adoptions treads water, LoopPay is an interesting alternative to watch. At the time of this writing however, Apple is expected to announce NFC as a standard in the iPhone 6, which could change the field dramatically. Kathleen, our resident Apple expert, will break down the rumors and implications this could have later in the article.
Another interesting option in the mobile payment field is the Coin Payment Card. This works similarly to LoopPay, but instead of requiring a fob or charging case, users can store their cards in a credit card-shaped item and switch between them at the tap of a button. This has the added benefit of removing any questions of NFC adoption or security concerns with wirelessly transmitting credit card information. In addition, it provides the comfort of a payment process with which both users and vendors are familiar. There is no need to fumble with a mobile app or worry about having mobile service if you can simply hand a card to a waiter or cashier.
Another neat feature unique to this system is added security through a Bluetooth tether. Coin uses a low-energy Bluetooth signal to connect with your phone, which will then alert you if you get too far away from the card, say by walking away from a shop and leaving it on the counter. So what’s the downside? Again, users need to invest in the card, and right now it is still in the crowd funding stage. Early investors can buy the card for $50, and once it’s released it will retail at $100. If somehow Coin can manage to bring the price down, I could see this being widely adopted by consumers interested in both familiarity and security.
Now, Kathleen will talk about Starbuck’s success with mobile payments and Apple’s likely upcoming adoption of NFC in the new iPhone.
The best part of the Starbucks app is how little effort it involves. Once you enter in your gift card number and the 8-digit identifying code on the back, you’re good to go. You can add money via the app, set it up to automatically reload when running low, and even add it to iOS’s Passbook. Using it in the store is a seamless process. Unlike some of the other apps we’ve tested, it just works. You don’t have to think about it, and since the store has integrated it on their end paying by app is as natural as paying by credit card. This too works independently of NFC capabilities.
Starbucks in Korea has a new feature called Siren Order. Customers can enter in their order details and receive a QR code, which is scanned by baristas at the counter. Starbucks is thinking about rolling out app preorder capabilities in the US in the next three to six months.
As of September 8, 2014, Apple has entered the mobile payments field with Apple Pay. As of January 2014, 42% of smartphone owners in the US own some model of iPhone, many of these older models. Apple Pay will work on the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus, and the Apple Watch. Users will scan the front of their credit/debit card, enter the CVV, and be able to make payments. Apple will generate a unique code each time a user wants to make a payment. This will work in physical stores, online, and in apps. Merchants like Starbucks, Whole Foods, Duane Reade, Disney, Bloomingdale’s, and Uber are already signed up. American Express, Visa, MasterCard, and most major US banks are currently participating on the credit/debit card side. I look forward to seeing how this transforms the mobile payments process, hopefully for the better!
Personally, I’m optimistic for a trickle down effect to smaller merchants by next summer so it can be available at Smorgasburg and Governor’s Ball. A lot of the payments systems we’ve showcased are promising, but none of them have gained widespread adoption. I’m hoping Apple’s entry into the market will change this outcome.