Since it’s the middle of 2014 already (crazy I know), I feel like it’s safe to say that just about everyone has seen their fair share of wearable technology. Yes, there is the Google Glass, and then the abundance amount of smartwatches and fitness bands coming out. The many different brands, makes, and models pushing wearable technology seems almost daunting, and yet at the same time, it feels as if no one really cares. I say that due to my observation of how many people I’ve actually seen walking around with the Galaxy Gear or Pebble smartwatch. In case you were wondering, the number is nearly zero.
Even with the lack of people going for the wearable technology bait, I keep seeing more and more Kickstarters and IndieGoGos pushing some type of wearable technology. That being said, I feel there are some things that need to be addressed about the wearable “craze”, if you even want to call it that.
Many of the larger tech companies, such as Apple and Samsung, have taken notice of how promising the idea of having another mobile tech platform to choose from is. Naturally, most of the companies have developed something around the idea of the Pebble Smartwatch when it came out. The premise of the device was something exciting; a watch that does essentially everything your smartphone does. There was once even a thought that it could replace a smartphone. As more and more companies tried to get their own versions of a smartwatch into development, the limitations became apparent. Take Samsung’s Galaxy Gear for example. The device showed some sense of promise, but it had to work in tandem with a particular Samsung smartphone and wasn’t compatible with any other Samsung smartphone.
During this year’s WWDC 2014 from Apple, there was no iWatch reveal. Many, myself included, were a little shocked to not see any type of hardware release. It was, however, at that point that I started to wonder just how popular these devices are now and whether or not they even have a chance of becoming popular. I don’t see them being more popular than they are now to be completely honest. I’m sure that may change once Apple does decide to show the new iWatch (if it even exists yet), mainly because of Apple’s popularity. Even with their popularity in place, I can’t see the smartwatch being a big enough deal to merit any type of mass sales. I also feel that many of the established tech companies are starting to take notice of this.
Where the tech companies may be taking notice, the crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo are still pushing out new products left and right that seem to all be about wearable technology and smartwatch technology. A new product called Glance is being pushed now. It’s designed as a wristwatch accessory that can, essentially, turn your regular watch into a smartwatch. It clasps onto the band of your watch and connects to your smartphones via a free app downloaded from the Android Marketplace and Apple App Store. This isn’t the first time devices like this have been seen on these crowdfunding webesites either. I’ve seen “ringclocks” and “wrist communicators”. Some look promising, and others just look like something you’d get out of a 25-cent machine.
Based solely off of what I’ve seen and taken notice of, I’d say many of our favorite gadget-creating companies are starting to realize that perhaps smartwatches are nothing more than a cool toy and not an actual useful gadget. Kickstarters and IndieGoGos, on the other hand, don’t seem to be letting this fad die out. Only time will tell if I’m right or wrong.
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