Smartwatches haven’t made as big a splash as some people may have predicted. After the intriguing debut of what was seen as the possible blossoming of the tech by the release of the Apple Watch, most people’s timelines last week news were filled with the the IDC report stating the decline of the devices.
The buzz around the Apple Watch, Pebble, and Samsung Gear has dropped and many view them as inaccessible due to their high prices. Smartwatches certainly aren’t at a point right now where they offer value equal to the price required for purchase but we don’t think this industry has failed, it’s just at the very beginning of a long journey.
So why should we still be excited about wearables?
Well there’s alot of technological advances on the way for wearables such as fitness tracking, which is becoming better and better. Apple decided to focus on fitness for the second generation of Apple Watches, making them much more inviting to workout-aholics. Motorola is adding a camera to the next-gen Moto 360, and it’s highly likely that picture-taking functionality will be a common smartwatch addition in the next couple of years. Digital wallets are set to grow in popularity and as more places accept contactless payments, it will become mainstream to swipe your watch multiple times per day.
Along with these positives, upcoming smartwatches will certainly have upgrades to processing speed and wireless strength, and not to mention we’ll soon see wearables that seem very much in the realm of the future; think glucose-sensing wristbands and heart-monitoring patches.
What about the elephant in the room? The battery. Researchers have taken a few stabs at it but most wearable batteries up to now just don’t cut it. Thankfully, a team of scientists at the Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry in China may have come up with the answer: lithium-air batteries. They can store up to 10 times as much energy and are closer to being released than we think.
Wearable tech is almost definitely the path of the future. Upcoming smartwatches like the mysterious two Google devices and the Sony Smartwatch 4 could have a huge impact on the market. Sony’s previous version of the device was received very well and sold better than nearly any other wearable. We’re not sure what Sony has up their sleeves but rumours are circling around cellular data which could be a game changer.
Prices are set to come down across the board as well. As technology progresses, the cost of buying wearable devices will become less expensive, and while there will always be luxury high-end versions like the Tag Heuer Connected and the Apple Watch Edition, the barrier of entry into the world of smartwatch will gradually lower. It’s plausible that in just a few years, some form of smartwatches will be nearly as prevalent as the modern smartphone became after its introduction. After all, it took the release of the 4th generation of the iPhone before sales soared.
Reception for these devices has been lukewarm at best thus far, but we doubt that it’ll stay that way for long. Science still has to overcome a few hurdles before wearables are at a place where most people feel like spending hundreds of dollars on a watch is a smart purchase.
The reality is that, at least for now, smartwatches just aren’t smart enough. Fortunately, with all that’s coming in the next few years, we can expect the market to truly open up, and hopefully, we’ll see some incredible advances.