​JINS Announces API for Smart Eyewear

Japanese electronics company JINS Co. Ltd. is releasing an API for its smart eyewear product. The company's JINS MEME smart eyewear uses "smart sensing" technology that the company says can be used to monitor wellness and health through the detection of changes in eye and body movements.

According to a press release, "While looking just like fashionable eyewear, JINS MEME has patented three-point electrooculography (EOG) and six-axis accelerometer and gyroscope sensors that capture unique biodata (DEEP DATA) such as sleepiness, focus level and body balance, which was not possible with conventional wearable devices." That biodata can be sent to a smartphone using Bluetooth.

The JINS MEME API supports two modes of data collection, real time and standard. The former allows developers to a track a variety of eye and body data, including blinks, blink strength, posture angle and walking pace, and send it from the JINS MEME device to a mobile app in real time. The latter is designed to send data from the JINS MEME device to a smartphone every minute over longer periods of time. In standard mode, the JINS MEME API provides access to an even greater amount of data collected by the smart eyewear device, including average intervals between blinks, total number of eye movements, number of steps, body sway while walking and sleepiness.

JINS will release native SDKs for iOS and Android at the end of the quarter, and has launched a developer portal. In an effort to spark developer interest in its new API, JINS is running a contest that invites developers residing in Japan and the United States to pitch their ideas for JINS MEME smartphone apps. Between now and mid-March, the top 300 ideas submitted will receive a beta version of the JINS MEME device.

APIs Crucial to Wearable Success

Wearables were the source of a considerable amount of buzz in 2014. While it remains to be seen just how popular these devices will become outside of well-defined niches like fitness, there is no doubt that 2015 will see no shortage of new wearable devices like the JINS MEME.

One of the great promises of wearable devices is the ability to passively collect large amounts of data. But data alone isn't very useful to consumers, so to ensure that the data from their devices becomes meaningful, many if not most wearable manufacturers are turning to APIs. Ultimately, the success of these devices will largely depend on the apps that interact with them, which means that companies hoping to win in this nascent market must create not only innovative, stylish devices, but great APIs that enable developers to make the capabilities of those devices shine.

Be sure to read the next Wearable article: Wearable Market Embraces APIs and the Quantified Self