Saturday, July 12, 2014

Three Smart Watches

Google recently launched Android Wear accompanied by three smartwatches by partners. They look different but, due to the version of Android onboard, they all work pretty much the same.

20140712-124325-45805446.jpg


With the Android folks behind them, the thought is that wearables, especially smartwatches, are ready to take off. That may be a pipe dream due to three hurdles that stand in the way.

Many don't wear watches anymore
One unexpected casualty of the smartphone craze is the watch. Nearly everyone wore a watch not that long ago, but that changed when most folks got a phone.

"I wish I had a big gadget strapped to my wrist to check the weather/ email/ Facebook." A statement made by no one, ever.
Look around and you'll notice that the wrists of a lot of folks are unadorned by a watch of any kind. Gone are the days of fancy watches that used to be a status symbol.

When many folks want to know the time, more often than not they look at the smartphone. Most phones have the time right on the lock screen so they don't even need to be unlocked. A simple glance at the screen and you know what time it is. No need for a watch. A smartwatch is unlikely to change this behavior.



20140712-124838-46118977.jpg

They don't do anything new
The new smartwatches by LG, Samsung, and Motorola look pretty useful with the Android Wear stuff that Google built. Geeks in particular like the thought of glancing at the watch and seeing pertinent information without asking for it.

The rest of the world won't be that impressed, largely because these watches don't do anything new. The information that appears on the tiny watch screen is already there on the smartphone. Until someone comes up with a cool new function, it's not likely that consumers are going to want one of these watches.

They don't need or want yet another screen, a tiny one at that, to view the information they already have on their phone. This is especially true since they have already given up wearing a watch. There's no reason to change their habits when it doesn't gain them new functionality.