Sunday, March 8, 2015

Wearable Technology The Great Debate

Quick what’s the most successful wearable technology device ever created?

Time’s up, literally.  Because it’s the wrist watch.

Not the Android watch, not the iWatch, that normal watch that sits on the wrist of millions of people every single day.  Now how can new technology compete with that?  Well, in short, it can’t or at least it hasn’t yet.

Wearable tech has been all the rage in recent years.  Most wearables are commercial fails, thanks to stubborn consumers not wanting to look ridiculous.  While products like Google Glass have a niche to serve, like the medical world and security, they have no real place in the tech arsenal of the average consumer.

If you own a smartphone and a tablet, adding a smartwatch is identical to purchasing a Chromecast to add to your smartTV when you already own a PS4 and Xbox One.  It’s redundant tech that offers little in the way of new experiences.  Sound familiar?

It might be that wearables need a few years of development to find the right fit with modern technology.  However, the real wall that companies like Google, Apple, and Microsoft and more are hitting is price.  Spending hundreds of dollars to get text messages delivered to your wrist when you could just whip out your phone seems a little crazy.  Plus, anything that requires another data plan is probably a no-go right out of the box.  Come on, another two year commitment?  Thanks but no.

As a tech writer I play with a number of different devices over the course of the year, and while some wearables are cool, they are not exactly comfortable to wear or even necessary.  Many have an exclusive market that they will find a place in, but as far as passing someone on a street wearing glasses linked to their watch which is connected to their phone?  That seems like a long shot.  I don’t blame tech companies for trying because you never know what will be a hit, but it seems like they could spend that money in other places.

Like getting the clock in the car to auto adjust to Daylight Savings Time for example, now that would be handy.

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