Browsing around the internet reading the latest gadget and tech news over the past few months, I’ve noticed a growing number of reports on wearable technology in particular smart watches.
I’m not the tech savviest person, and I’m certainly no tech expert, but as a mere consumer I can certainly tell why smart watches and other wearable technologies are a complete and utter flop.
The key word is ‘wearable’. Most wearable things serve four key functions.
1. Protection - clothes, helmets, glasses, shoes, etc. all protect us from the elements and environment.
2. Modesty - no one wants to see grandpa walking around in the nude.
3. Fashion statement / personal taste
4. Functionality - hiking shoes, running shoes, lab attire, wet suit , etc. etc.
I think at least 3 , maybe 2, of these have to be met in order for something wearable to be of use.
I’ve yet to see any smart watches that catch my eye or meet more than one of these. They’re all very poorly designed, far too ‘clunky’ and big. I’m no fashionista but I certainly wouldn’t want to be caught dead with something that looks like it came out of an old, corny, sci-fi movie. I think a very sleek, elegant, minimalist designed watch made of quality materials would be a great start. Known for their quality, elegantly designed products , I’m sure Apple would unsurprisingly be a major catalyst in making smart watches and other wearable technologies wildly popular. However, aside from rumors , there’s no indication that Apple has been working on releasing a smart watch.
Currently, I see no real niche for smart watches. They don’t do anything particularly special that a smart watch can’t do. Telling time? Contacts? Calls? Weather? These are all things that we all rely on our smartphones for and a simple glance does the trick. A smart watch just adds to another screen to keep up with, while providing no new functionality. I wouldn’t be interested, even with a sleek, elegantly designed product.
However, I do realize that wearable technologies are in their infancy and like most other now ubiquitous technologies , they were first met with resistance and ridicule. Personally, I think smart watches and other wearable technologies success lie in monitoring of various health and physiological processes as well as reminders to take medications, things like monitoring pulse, blood pressure, sun exposure, perhaps even blood glucose. This would allow smart watches to fill a niche not provided by the abundance of present day gadgets by serving as a bridge between the inorganic technology, and the living, complex biological machine that the human body is.