Smartwhat? Wearable technology is hot. Geeks around the globe are excited to get their hands on the newest, coolest, sexiest gadgets to brag about them to their ignorant not-so-geek friends. Oh! How do we love to see the curious looks on people’s faces when we demonstrate them in our favorite pub. But let’s face it. Nobody likes a show-off don’t we?
What is all this smartwatch fuzz about anyway? Several models were released during the last years, and there are more to come. Here is my view on why the smartwatch may (or may not be) the trend of 2015.
- Everyone has a smartphone. It’s time for something new. Really, even my dad got one for Christmas. He never ever brought his old phone with him when I called him. Nuff said.
- Apple Watch is coming. Yep. This company even succeeded to sell a product which Microsoft brought out and marketed 9(!) years earlier (the iPad). For some reason, they get the big masses excited about their newest sexy product. AND make people aware these innovations even exist.
- New payment systems. Forget those big and clumsy wallets, credit cards and cash. This other trend expected in 2015 would integrate nicely with a smartwatch. With Near Field Communication (NFC) you can just beep your watch to a scanner and pay for your beer.
- E-health. Fitbit, Nike, Garmin, Microsoft,… They all have a Fitness tracker. And business there is booming. In 2013 the market was worth about $330 million. Smartwatches can take the trackers a step further -hah-. Apple Watch counts your steps, calories and your heartbeat. And they keep things nicely in a fancy graphic. I see the sport addicted, fashionable yuppies running through the park already.
- The technology has more potential. Although the use of the smartwatch is now focused on bringing smartphone functions to your wrist, being even closer connected to the digital world may have more use than we realize today. Especially in a world where more and more devices are connected to the internet. Tomorrow, you may be able to unlock your front door with the push of a button, or your personal Voice password. 10000 kilometers away from home.
- Do we really need another gadget? Our smartphones already can do pretty much everything. At the moment some argue that smartwatches lack a must-have function that really differs them from our good old smartphones
- They are expensive. True. They are today. But on the other hand, we already spend a lot of money on gadgets, cars and jewels. Why wouldn’t we spend this on something we can impress our friends with? And remember: prices in technology can plunge fast
- Autonomy. Remember those smart glasses from that big American company? Google Glass that is. After 2 years it is still in the experimenting phase. One of the reasons: its awful battery autonomy (it lasted about 3-5 hours). A pretty smartwatch screen can drain a battery pretty fast.
- Controlling the device. Will people be able to get used to those small screens? The interface will need to be very different from a smartphone. By using big buttons, different ways to touch your screen and voice control manufacturers are trying to overcome those issues. But will it be enough?
And you? What do you think? Will 2015 be the year of the smartwatch?