Smart wear has been in the industry for a number of years now.
Ranging from the more popular smart watches through to the rumored (but possibly discontinued) Google glasses down to backpacks and other exciting wearables that are given more capabilities than their average or more mundane compatriots, technology is evolving and including not only smartphones but also things we wear.
However, the novelty of the idea isn’t as exciting as the ubiquity of these smart wears.
Currently the most popular smart wear devices are the smart watches. These devices seemed to have been the most easily assimilated and this is mainly because of their being paired with smartphones.
Smartwatches come in many forms and from many companies. Many run and are paired with Android devices while some are hybrid devices that can be paired to both Apple and Android devices.
Smartwatches come in many styles and with numerous abilities.
Majority of these abilities are centered on health and fitness with these watches being capable of detecting heart rates, sleep patterns, number of steps taken, calories burnt, etc.
They also feature high connectivity levels with the smartwatches they are paired with such as ability to read received text messages, reply texts (the higher end ones), answer calls, place calls and so much more.
Despite all the great functions that many smartwatches have, they haven’t caught on as well as one would think.
Granted this only seems to be a problem with the Android smartwatches because the Apple watches are extremely popular with Apple users especially because of its merger with the rest of their ecosystem.
The question is; why haven’t they caught on so well yet?
There may be several answers to that question. A few of those answers are as follows;
Poor battery life: Most smartwatches have a very poor battery lifespan (although this is dependent on usage) and may require multiple charges especially for power users.
Watches are some of the few very long lasting devices despite the size of their batteries but with smartwatches it is quite a different matter.
Smartwatches are essentially miniature smartphones with a fraction of the battery life that smartphones normally have.
With the operating system running as well as some always on features and connection to smartphones via Bluetooth, the smartwatch has a lot to do with very little power to do so.
Very pricey: As with many new forms of technology, smartwatches especially very good high-end ones- can be quite expensive.
With prices of high-end ones falling averagely in the $200-$400 range. The average consumer would be hard pressed to take out that extra money to pay for such a device especially when smartphones are currently frolicking in the close to $1000 field.
Also it is an extra cost that can be overlooked.
It is not essential to the smartphone experience: There are many things that you must have if you are a smartphone user.
You certainly need a charger, maybe a screen protector and a case (quite optional but still quite important) but you certainly do not need a smartwatch.
A smartwatch does not affect your ability to appreciate a smartphone. Some companies such as Apple have gone out of their way to make people who purchased an Apple watch once to feel a vacuum without it, the same cannot be said for Android smartwatches though.
Gimmicky? : Many consumers seem to see the smartwatch as a gimmick.
Yes it has a number of cool features that could be very important (especially if you are looking to get into a healthy lifestyle) but at the end of the day it doesn’t add much to the smartphone experience but does take a lot away from you the use (a few hundred dollars).
Throw in the watch’s functionality being dependent on Bluetooth connectivity hence power (except for the Apple watch 3 and soon to be released version 4) and its frequent need to be charged and it definitely comes off as a gimmick or a cool fad that companies are using to make money off of customers.
A normal watch may not be able to answer or place calls but it works pretty fine.
To conclude, smartwatches are cool, I love them and I have used a few but to be honest, their time seems to be almost running out.
Google gave a new name to their smartwatch operating system, calling it Wear OS early this year but following no news about it during the Google I/O it was a bit disappointing.
Thankfully they have promised to ship the new OS to some new smartwatches so let’s see what they have in store for us. As for Apple, keep up the good work.