As the development around the Internet of Things, smart devices, and wearable technology continues to explode, industries that serve end users are zeroing in on the importance of interoperability and user experience. Open Standards can play an important role in these industries, as we pointed out in a recent post featuring Kevin Meagher, VP of Lowe’s, on the role of open standards development for the interoperability of smart home devices.
In the wearables arena, the health and fitness industry represents another ripe arena for better UX and interoperability. In 2013, the health and fitness industry bosted revenues of $22.4 billion. Today, with companies like Facebook and Google handing out wearable fitness trackers as standard employee onboarding kits, fitness is not just big business but a global business priority for corporations and the insurance companies that serve them. The number of wearable fitness trackers and health monitoring devices is growing exponentially. As the number of devices proliferate, interoperability and extensibility will provide a market edge for device manufacturers, who are today becoming more concerned with how to craft a better user experience across a wide array of devices, apps, brands, locations, and use cases.
A recent press release announced that FIT-C, a non-profit organization focused on encouraging increased collaboration and enhancing user experience through technology in the fitness industry, welcomed Netpulse, a provider of branded mobile apps for health clubs, to its council. The release brought up several interesting points that connect to a wider discussion of how the need for open standards affects the particular concerns of fitness tech industry.
Kelly Sweeny, head of business development at Netpulse, referred to open standards’ uniting influence directly in her press release quote:
“The fitness industry has evolved tremendously over the last several years. This is a perfect time for us to focus on creating open standards that unite and empower club owners, vendors, and members to reach their goals.”
By joining the council at FIT-C, Netpulse shows a recognition of the same collaborative spirit that guides the OpenStand Principles of cooperation, collective empowerment, and voluntary adoption. John Ford, CEO at Netpulse, also focused on this in the press release, saying:
“To bring the best services to our apps and screens, we integrate with the best companies in the industry. None of this works well without the open and collaborative industry that FIT-C is driving.”
As the IoT continues to evolve and the effects of the new technology influence a wider range of industries at a personal user level, we are seeing more specific examples of the critical influence of open standards development.