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Guest Posts

6 Reasons Continuous Testing is Vital in Wearable Technology

Posted on
March 29, 2024

This blog comes to us from our friends at Databricks.

When it comes to software testing, it’s no longer a standard practice to wait until the end of the software development cycle. Instead, continuous testing is now recognized as a reliable and, in many cases, necessary solution. 

Testing early and frequently can help to identify bugs and defects early on in the software development cycle. This can make them easier (and cheaper!) to resolve compared with the traditional ‘waterfall’ approach of testing near the end of development.

This is particularly helpful for wearable developers. With the global wearable technology market valued at USD 61.30 billion in 2022, and continuing to expand, developers need to reduce their time-to-market in order to stay competitive. Continuous testing is one solution that can ensure you don’t get left behind while creating high-quality products.

What is continuous testing?

Continuous testing is the practice of testing software components throughout the software development lifecycle. Rather than waiting until the software is ready to be deployed, testing is integrated throughout the development process. 

Often, continuous testing uses automation to test early and regularly in the process. This can provide some important initial feedback to teams, enabling them to quickly mitigate risk, fix bugs and repair code defects.

How does continuous testing compare to traditional testing methods? 

To really establish how continuous testing works, let’s compare it with traditional testing methods (often part of the ‘waterfall’ style of development).

A table comparing traditional and continuous testing.

When done well, continuous testing allows for faster and more frequent releases, all while maintaining high quality and reliable software. When it comes to testing wearable technology, this is a game changer.

What is wearable technology? 

Wearable technology refers to devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, or headsets, that are worn by a user and usually provide wearers with some form of data or feedback. The most common example of wearable technology is the smart watch, with GWI reporting that 1 in 5 internet users own a smartwatch or smart wristband. 

6 reasons continuous testing is vital in wearable technology 

To produce a successful wearable device, rigorous testing is a must. Let’s look at six of the most important reasons continuous testing can help.

1. Immediate and continuous feedback

One huge benefit of continuous testing is receiving immediate and ongoing feedback on your developing product. This means developers can be proactive and catch bugs and defects earlier, before they turn into something more complicated. 

It’s not just bugs this is good for, however. By integrating real-world testing through platforms like Centercode, you can check that the software you’re building actually fulfills user needs, that the UI is easy-to-use, and that people will actually use it! 

When competition is high and the market is developing as quickly as it is with wearable technology, you must stay ahead of the curve. Immediate and continuous feedback from continuous testing allows you to do just that. 

2. Better team collaboration

A natural benefit of using continuous testing is that teams become more integrated. Continuous testing fosters a culture of collaboration by involving each member of the development pipeline in the testing process. 

With continuous testing, QA testers and developers actually work together rather than separately. For wearable technology development, this means that the end product is more aligned with customer needs, and developers can adapt their code based on testing feedback throughout the process. This collaborative process ultimately will lead to a more successful product launch and better deployment outcomes.

3. Improved product quality and security

By continuously testing code quality throughout the software development process, the result tends to be higher quality software overall with fewer bugs and defects. As issues are detected and fixed early and throughout the process, the final product is more refined. Wearable software developers don’t just need to add value to their customers’ lives. They also need to include robust security measures due to often dealing with highly sensitive personal and biometric data. It’s important to understand the fundamentals of cyber risk management, and embed these practices throughout the software development and testing process. What’s more, with the growing pressure to deliver wearable software quickly, developers need to ensure they aren’t rushing to fix mistakes just before deployment. This is an easy way of letting vulnerabilities in. Without continuous testing, developers run the risk of deploying an unstable or faulty product.

4. Better decision making

Continuous testing can help developers of wearable technology stay competitive and keep up with the demand for accelerated release processes. By consistently gathering feedback throughout the development cycle, developers and organizations are better positioned to make informed decisions about their product and its release. So, if you’re having trouble deciding on which ensemble learning algorithm to use between gradient boosted trees vs random forest or simply which color scheme works best, this can help. With pressure to keep up with rapid release cycles, wearable technology companies need to ensure that they maintain a balance of quick time-to-market and high quality products. A poorly considered release can cause a lot of damage to reputation and can be costly to fix. Using continuous testing alongside data engineering services, developers can make data-driven decisions throughout the development process and for deployment.

5. Lower costs

Continuous testing can reduce costs by detecting and fixing bugs earlier in the software development process. Bugs and defects detected earlier are typically less complex than if they were detected later, and therefore are cheaper and less time consuming to fix. For instance, maybe you notice some of the users’ biometric data isn’t quite lining up as hoped. In the early stages, you could use a SQL server pivot (rows to columns) to address the issue, but at late stages, this data might be in use in so many places you need to start from scratch. In order to stay competitive, developers of wearable technology need to keep costs low while maintaining product quality. With continuous testing methods, this is much more achievable. For example, post development testing will be cheaper as most defects will already have been detected and fixed during the development stages. Furthermore, a higher quality product with fewer bugs means less time and money spent on customer support or downtime.

6. Improved user experience 

Wearable technology is literally attached to the user, so it goes without saying that the user experience needs to be a positive one. Developers need to consider testing wearable battery life, fit, and functions. If a wearable device doesn’t work as intended or provide the user with the features they’re looking for, they likely won’t use it very long due to a poor user experience.

Since even minor glitches can discourage customers, ensuring that testing is rigorous and regular throughout the software development process helps mitigate the risk of releasing glitchy or problematic code.

Final thoughts 

There are numerous benefits to continuous testing, particularly when it comes to wearable technology. From cost savings and better decision making, to improved product quality and a better user experience. 

If you want to stay ahead of competitors, create high quality products and speed up release cycles, continuous testing is the way to go. 

Download the Consumer Insights Report for Wearables
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