Technology is rapidly evolving and at the forefront of this evolution lies the internet. From broadband, to smart phones, iPads, Google and social media, the biggest technological advancements of the past ten to fifteen years have involved the internet in some way, shape or form. An upcoming advancement seems set to continue this trend. Smart watches are essentially the timepiece equivalent of smart phones and they could very well be here to stay.
While they may not be drawing in consumers by the masses, the introductions of the Pebble and Samsung’s Galaxy Gear are more significant than the average tech geek might assume. Pioneers in smart watch technology, they have effectively laid down the foundations for future smart watch models and innovations to come forth from. There are a few problems with these timepieces however.
Qualities & Limitations
First and foremost the Galaxy Gear is only an accessory to Samsung’s hugely popular smart phones. This limits the marketing potential of the Galaxy Gear as, rather than being an accessory for another product, the smart watch should be a key product in its own right. This is essentially why it has, in a sense, slipped under the radar somewhat. Speaking of smart watches that have slipped under the radar, it is easy to forget that Samsung have actually introduced smart watch type devices in the past – in both 1999 and 2009, though these were too critically limited.
The Pebble has also gone relatively unnoticed and also acts as an accessory for smart phones. Described as an E-paper watch, the Pebble is an accomplice to iPhones and Androids. With the ability to take photos, read texts and perform hands-free calls, these smart watches should be major crazes in the tech market. However, something seems to be missing and nobody really knows what.
The Entire Internet On Our Wrists
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has made a few suggestions as to why the Pebble and Galaxy Gear haven’t taken off yet. He sees limitations in their capabilities, purposes and screen sizes, claiming to want “the entre internet, on my wrist”, Wozniak scorns at the idea of these smart watches only being an accessory for smart phones. Instead, he believes they should be super gadgets in their own right, with super capabilities.
All of this would essentially require a supersized watch screen, a concept that Wozniak supports. Perhaps here is where the root cause of the problem lies. To have a smart watch that really is worth engaging with, the screen would have to be significantly larger than traditional timepiece screens. We either have to finally move away from the traditional concept of watches and revolutionise its image and capabilities – in a similar way to how we revolutionised mobile phones into smart phones – or accept that smart watches won’t ever achieve notoriety.
Watch This Space
Gadgets such as the Pebble and Galaxy Gear bear resemblance to the very first smartphone attempts that only go down in our marketing history books as failures, despite their pioneering influence. Smartphones are now everywhere however, and smart watches could very well soon be too.