Every time a shift in gadget technology is in the works, tech bloggers hit their keyboards with every reason they can think of that it won’t work. We saw it with the roll out of smartphones when some were estimating that it would be 2012 or later before they would become commonplace. It happened with the iPad and other tablets, panned by the tech world when announced, only to be a leading component of the mobile computing revolution.
The release of Google Glass had some at this site screaming about how it could bomb (and it still might). Now, smartwatches are on everyone’s radar and many are skeptical about whether or not the market is ready.
Let’s just say it. The market is ready. It’s dying for something new. Our gadgetry attention span is limited and there has been nothing new under the sun for quite some time. Here are 5 reasons why smartwatches will be wildly successful… not all of them, mind you, but somebody is about to make a ton of money of this wearable tech concept.
1. Visible without being gaudy
Despite being popular for a decade, it’s still hard to get used to Bluetooth headsets. They make the wearer look weird. I know – I wear one several hours a day. It’s hard to talk to someone without their eyes drifting immediately to the Bluetooth followed by a brief, almost imperceptible look of disapproval. Yes, I’ve been called a Borg on more than one occasion.
Google Glass takes that to the next level. One cannot wear it in public without being attracting attention. It’s the epitome of attention-grabbing tech.
Smartwatches will give the wearer the best of both worlds – visible and attention-grabbing without being obtuse. People have worn watches for over a century, so the attention that one gets from it will be controllable. In other words, wearing it will only be notable when the wearer wants people to take note.
2. Massive marketing from multiple directions
This isn’t going to be one of those sneaky gadget launches in which non-tech-savvy people will still need to be introduced to it months after the first launch. All of the major players and several minor players are throwing their hats in this ring, meaning that they will be marketing the heck out of them. The marketing efforts of one will fuel further marketing by others very similar to how tablet and smartphone ads are visible everywhere.
The way that the devices are shaping up, one would think that they will be relatively cheap to make while still demanding a high price tag. The margins created will give the advertising departments plenty of room to work their magic.
3. We need something cool
Let’s face it. There really hasn’t been anything big in a while. Yes, that’s a relative statement, but since the launch of the iPod in the beginning of the millennium there has been a new hot gadget type revealed every year or every other year. We’re in a lull.
This lull ends with the smartwatch. People will be clamoring to get their wrists wrapped by one.
4. They might actually be useful
Google Glass is already getting a reputation as being a semi-secret video recording device as one of its primary functions, but we went so far as to make the stretch that it could have other uses. There will be no need to make that stretch with smartwatches, particularly if they can combine the uses of smartphones with the advantages of wearable tech.
Anyone who has had a smartphone giving them driving directions from the console can know that managing it can be a hassle. What if it’s right there on your wrist as while your hands are on the steering wheel? They free the hand up from holding a device, a clear advantage over phones.
Perhaps most important to the concept will be the need to make them water-resistant. If they are, then their usefulness just went up big time for anyone who has ever had a phone malfunction in the raid (or even fall into the toilet).
5. This many players can’t be wrong
This isn’t just Google betting on Glass. This is everyone important. Apple, Samsung, Google, and Microsoft are all at different stages of development. Some say that we might see a Samsung device before the end of the year.
It can be assumed that these and other companies have done the research, queried the markets, tested focus groups, consulted gurus, and done everything they can to come to the conclusion that these will sell like hotcakes. Otherwise, most companies would be in wait-and-see mode while one intrepid company launched. Nobody’s waiting. They all see the potential. Apple wants to rejuvenate. Samsung wants to pull ahead. Google wants to innovate. Microsoft doesn’t want to get left behind. The motivations are strong for all of the players and nobody seems to be shying away. They aren’t going to be wrong on this one.
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The Boston Globe posted an article titled Smartwatches are ready, but are consumers? The answer is yes. Absolutely. There is very little question that these will be the next big thing. The only real question is who is going to capitalize the most?