"Third-party apps are key to driving mainstream wearable adoption," said Lindsey Irvine, head of Salesforce Wear. "The application is what's going to lay the foundation to make these devices more than gadgets, to make them real business tools." Complex business processes can be brought to life on the wrist, driving productivity improvement for the mobile worker, Irvine said.
Twenty apps for Apple Watch were unveiled, including the BetterWorks Wear app, for connecting employees such as to update them on sales goals; ClickSoftware FieldExpert, for advanced scheduling; Bracket Labs' TaskRay, for project management; and VLocity Wear, providing sales reps with customer profile data. NewVoiceMedia introduced ConnectWorld for Wearables, which integrates with Salesforce data to improve customer service.
Salesforce's rollout shows the budding potential of a new marketplace for wearable apps, with not just Apple but Google and others having committed to development of wearable devices that do more than just tell time.
Watch apps can foster hands-free information-gathering, ClickSoftware's Edwin Pahk, team solution consultant team lead, said. "What we're starting to see in field service [is] it's starting to become much, much more critical for people to have their hands free," he said.
The Salesforce Wear Developer pack features open source starter apps for designing and building wearable apps connecting to the Salesforce1 platform. iOS developers use Salesforce Wear Developer KIt for Apple Watch to leverage Apple's WatchKit SDK and the Swift programming language to extend Salesforce Mobile SDK apps onto the watch.
Salesforce's Wear Developer tools also support Google Glass, Android Wear, Samsung Gear 2, Pebble, and the Myo armband.