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Wearable Technology Part I – Our Future With Smartwatches

While everything else is getting smarter, wrist watches are not lagging behind either. Shedding off those ticking minute-second-hour hands, the device has undergone digitization to include a medley of sensors which speak to you via a high-tech interface.

But, somehow, is the idea not vague in its entirety, let alone the talk about a ‘smartwatch market’ in which we have started to believe so deeply? In fact, this quoted phrase is a big word with a big meaning. And, those big companies are investing big money to be a part of this big Arm Race, which is getting popular without much rhyme or reason. Somehow, nothing much has changed since pre-school, when every student wished to be the teacher’s pet. Only, with time, the teacher got replaced by us, the consumers, and the students, by the tech firms.

Here’s the scenario as per market research:
Less than two million smartwatches have been sold in the recent past, the term being most commonly understood as a gadget which is a digital wristwatch. How does this go not to define the exclusive marketplace, we all are ardently talking about? Are tech companies even getting the hang of what customers want, or what their perception is about this wonder gadget? The answer seems to be negative.

The if’s and but’s:
If at least ten percent of the commoners could be persuaded into buying an actual smartwatch, the ‘less than two million’ sale would have made some difference to the so-called smartwatch market. But, tech firms have decided to focus only on excelling in producing the smartest device. Customer behavior and requirements are way over their tech heads.

The lion got all the meat and the hyenas had to stay back for the kill to get devalued. The fox called the grapes sour and never bothered to look back.

This is exactly what’s going on in the supposed marketplace. If you sit down to analyze people’s attitude toward the gadget, you’ll notice that amongst those less than two million buyers, smartwatches are most popular amongst the 25 to 34 year old Richie Rich masses. Why? Well, not because they are tech savvier than their monetarily inferior fellow beings, but because they can simply afford it, and because this particular thing is new, fashionable, and kind of a status symbol, doesn’t matter if it’s serving any sane purpose or not.

And, about the others, well, there aren’t any. The ones with deep pockets define the demographic out-and-out! Of course, the non-buyers shall keep doing their bit of research and pounce upon the product like the laughing hyenas, as soon as the prices come down. Also, there’s a third kind which will get offended by such innovation, sulking orthodoxically over their outdated wristwatches and blaming Technology for being so dynamic. They do not need the gadget, because the grapes are sour. But, isn’t it more agreeable than wasting money on a product you are not well versed in, or are going to tuck somewhere inside your drawer, anyway?

Where’s the goof happening?
Other than the fatuous competition amongst tech companies for supremacy, there are other points which have made the device stay away from popularity. First and foremost, the firms have not bothered to design it to be a lingering need. Instead, it is just quick profit they are brooding over. Can this device meet the daily needs of customers? Will it hold any relevance in our modern lives? Or will it be like bloodsucking mosquitoes causing more harm with their existence than elimination?

And, why on earth should the device be dependent on a specific smartphone? If it’s smart, it should have its own functionality. Here is a marketing trick. If you own an iOS device, Apple will make sure you have no other choice but to pick up an iWatch. Doesn’t it sound like those airlines that debar people from bringing their own bottle of water? I mean, water is water, the same composition of one Oxygen and two Hydrogen molecules! When the cabin crew can have it inside the airplane, why can’t they allow passengers to carry their own?

An ideal smartwatch should not need a smartphone to work. It should be enabled with its own data connection, and have its own touchscreen interface sensors. It should also have Bluetooth to pair with smartphones and something called a robust battery with a sturdy standing time. A bonus would be if these gadgets could supervise biometric functions as well.

Now, if you ask me to point out a real smartwatch, I would gladly show you Pebble, the brain child of the Kickstarter campaign. Yes, it can perform all the above functions, but, sadly, runs on a data connection via a smartphone. Still and all, it is the only sensible device fit for this category, as it doesn’t shy away from an iOS or an Android OS either.

Somehow, with Pebble, the smartwatch marketplace seems to be turning somewhat real, what say?


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