Today, CRM and cloud giant Salesforce.com announced the Salesforce Wear Developer Kit, a set of resources designed to help the company's 1.5 million developers experiment with and build applications for a variety of popular wearable devices, including smartwatches, smartglasses, smart armbands and biometric authenticators.
The new wearable-focused developer kit represents "the first in a series of steps" in the company's broader Salesforce Wear initiative, according to Daniel Debow, senior vice president of emerging technologies, Salesforce.com. Eventually Salesforce plans to setup open wearable-focused developer zones at its events and hold related "hackathons" as part of the initiative, he says. Salesforce could also potentially release its own packaged wearable app or set of apps in the future.
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"We are the first enterprise company, the only company, that is doing something like this," Debow says. A number of other companies have released SDKs (software development kits) for wearable devices, or added wearable components to their existing SDK, including Google and Samsung, but Salesforce's offering is unique in that it caters directly to enterprise developers. The Salesforce Wear Developer Kit is designed to help developers create apps that integrate with Salesforce services.
As part of the kit, the company released six sample apps that securely integrate with Salesforce's cloud for the following devices and platforms: Pebble smartwatch; Samsung Gear smartwatch; Google Glass; Android Wear platform; Thalmic Labs' MYO armband; and Bionym's Nymi biometric authentication band. (Additional early Salesforce Wear partners include Fitbit, ARM, Philips and OMsignal.)
The company's "reference apps" all serve slightly different purposes and demonstrate different wearable capabilities. For example, the Pebble app is "a lightweight data reporting tool...that lets you connect any report in Salesforce to Pebble," Debow says. The sample Google Glass app is designed for on-site service technicians. It connects to the Salesforce Service Cloud to provide augmented imagery of repair sites, full access to repair history data in Service Cloud and hands-free access to various support resources. The apps all utilize security and authentication technologies that are built into the Salesforce platform.
While the apps and related resources are all free for organizations with "user licenses of Salesforce CRM and the Salesforce Platform," Debow stressed that although the apps are functional, they're not meant for real-world customer use just yet. Instead, at this time, the apps "are for developers to tear apart and experiment with."
Garth Moulton, Chief Customer Officer, at CircleBack, a company that makes business card scanning apps for iOS and Android, says the Wear Kit will make it easier to get a scanned card and other CircleBack App information directly into Salesforce via SF1. CircleBack
CircleBack built a connector app for its ScanBizCards app for the Samsung Gear 2 watch that integrates with Salesforce.