Software is the Battleground for Wearable Tech

Over the course of the past few years, we've met dozens of product managers and startup founders who have spent the majority of their resources (time, money, and people) in building up hardware, figuring out hardware design, manufacturing, testing, certification in order to get a few thousands units of their product out there.

But is hardware really where companies should be? Or is software and industrial design where the biggest value lies?
Building hardware is costly, and can test the will of the strongest product managers. However, the wearable technology industry today is a little bit like the "Homebrew Computer Club" days of the 80s, where you had to assemble a computer if you wanted one. Steve Jobs and several others started great businesses by putting together computer parts.
A wearable sensor device (wearable mini computer) is composed of off the shelf parts, such as a processor, bluetooth radio, accelerometer, and gyroscope, much like the computer parts that make up any modern day laptop.
So What's Next?
Intel, Qualcomm, Dialog and many others are putting the same parts together in volume to deliver assembled wearable devices. The scale and their credibility/experience makes it a really compelling value proposition for product managers. 
That leaves wearable device/product manufacturers to focus on the industrial design (the case, strap, etc.) and the software (UX, insight, platform) that runs on this mini-computer. So if hardware is a commodity, its the software and design that will compete going forward.
Just a thought, expect more in the coming weeks.

Ali Nawab

Toronto |

Ali is an entrepreneur in the AI and IoT space. Comp Sci, MBA, early engineer, technology leader at small & large companies, with some management consulting experience.