Blog 53

Pete, Developer

We’ve been getting excited about new wearable technology over the past couple of months. So much so we’re devoting a whole part of our product development process to it as I write this Blog post.

I was going on about wearable tech (as I do these days) when I was having a pint with my mate last week, who happens to be a volunteer for Oldham Mountain Rescue. He said that he could see a use for it in responding to emergency calls, so I decided to build a proof of concept for him.

Mountain Rescue App Mockup

Currently he gets a text message with the request for him to get to an emergency and he has to respond in a certain format with a yes or no to his availability. The issue with this is his phone is often in his pocket or in the works van and he’s halfway up a ladder. Not ideal.

We decided that the solution would be a Smartwatch app that intercepts the message, either from the number sending it, or key words in the message and presents it simply on the face of the watch.

Mountain Rescue Wearable App Mockup

The rescue team are then presented with simple Yes or No buttons which can be tapped, or better still the word can be spoken into the Smartwatch microphone. The reply is sent back through to the app and a text message is sent to the response number.

Mountain Rescue Wearable App Mockup

Replies are automatically sorted through the system and the rescue coordination team gets details on how many volunteers to expect and who they are.
This is a brilliant, useful example of how wearable technology can really change things for the better. Needless to say I’ll be having a few more pints over the next few weeks (in the name of product development research, obviously).

Here are the technical bits:

APIs
Android 4.4
Android Wear Developer Preview

R&D Project Scope
Only compatible with new devices that have the necessary hardware and are running 4.4 or newer.
The Wearable emulator image and Preview app are also required to test the Android Wear functionality.

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