One of the most dynamic segments of the emerging market known as the "Internet of Things" is the "Internet of Wearable Things." Consumer wearables are an estimated $7 billion market in 2015, and the statistics portal Statista estimates that the category will top $12 billion by 2018.
The most anticipated entry in the wearables market, of course, has been the Apple Watch. Despite its relatively steep price tag, analysts still project sales of as many as 15 million units by the end of this year.
The release of a new device like the Apple Watch brings with it the development of a whole new ecosystem of apps, some adapted from existing iPhone and iPad apps, and others written specifically for the new form factor. A critical component of the watch's success (or lack thereof) will be monitoring app performance and responding to any problems with the user experience.
Watching the Watch
AppDynamics is one company ready to help with the development and monitoring of smart watch apps. The San Francisco-based firm announced Tuesday that its AppDynamics Application Intelligence Platform will support applications designed for the new Apple Watch. This includes real-time monitoring and analytics support for the WatchKit extension that controls the Apple Watch’s user interface and responses to user interactions.
By tracking a variety of data relevant to the user experience, including app latency, crashes, stalls and errors, the AppDynamics platform can help developers produce better, more efficient apps.
"AppDynamics gives full visibility into the performance of the WatchKit extension, which Apple calls 'the brains of the operation,'" said Bhaskar Sunkara, chief technology officer and senior vice president of product management for AppDynamics. "When the extension code is performing well, you know your app is performing well on the Apple Watch. The AppDynamics Application Intelligence Platform provides a host of ways for application owners to see, measure, and respond to the behavior of the user, the application, and the Apple Watch extension.”
Sunkara also pointed out that, “What’s happening in a distant data center in the cloud can dramatically affect the performance of the Apple Watch on the user’s wrist. If there’s a problem, the app is going to get blamed, because that’s what the user is looking at. That’s why it’s critical to have visibility into the entire distributed, service-oriented, application ecosystem -- as AppDynamics does -- to deliver the optimum user experience. If a ‘glance’ interaction takes ten seconds to complete, that could end up turning the user away from the application for good.”
Three Principles of Performance
The AppDynamics Application Intelligence Platform is built on three core components for performance monitoring: Unified Monitoring, BizDevOps Collaboration, and Application Analytics.
The goal of Unified Monitoring, AppDynamics said, is to provide developers with "an integrated view of real-time user experience, application performance, and infrastructure capacity."
The BizDevOps Collaboration component is designed to give developers a shared, unified view of data for faster, more effective decision-making and problem resolution, even while apps are still in production.
Lastly, the Application Analytics included in the AppDynamics platform are designed to give developers "deep, real-time analytics" to foster better decision-making, and ultimately, to build better apps.
Optimizing Apps from Mobile to Global
AppDynamics also provides similar performance analytics for monitoring app performance on the iPhone.
Aside from its new offering for developers producing apps for the Apple Watch, AppDynamics also serves a variety of global customers, helping them monitor, manage and optimize highly complex software environments. Customers include Citrix, Edmunds, Expedia, Fox News, HBO, John Deere, OpenTable, .com, Sephora, StubHub, and Union Pacific Railroad.
AppDynamics was founded six years ago by Jyoti Bansal, a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. The company, which is planning a public offering, has raised more than $200 million in five rounds of fund-raising, and is valued at approximately $1 billion.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify that the AppDynamics Application Intelligence Platform supports Apple's WatchKit extension, which is publicly available. An earlier version inaccurately mentioned a deal between AppDynamics and Apple.
Image credit: Product shots by Apple.