Wearables: The Next Big Thing
The world of technology can be a strange and unforgiving place. While some products grab the imagination and become an overnight success, others simply fall by the wayside, never to be seen again. With tech giants always on the lookout for new and exciting ways to engage their users, it’s almost inevitable some ideas will succeed more than others.
The slow rise of smart watches
Wearable tech has been on the radar for many years, but it is only now slowly starting to come to fruition. In particular, today’s modern smart watches are far more powerful and capable than previous models and are at last beginning to deliver on their promise. Nonetheless, the take-up has, until very recently, remained relatively slow when compared to other devices.
When the smartphone was first launched, people flocked en masse to buy the new tech, but the release of the smartwatch never achieved quite the same levels of excitement. To be fair, this reluctance wasn’t just apparent with smart watches; other first-version tech releases have equally struggled to emulate the market success of the smartphone. For example, the adoption of tablets and notebooks was also slow in the early days of release.
However, in many ways, it could be argued this is somewhat inevitable. Upon their release, smartphones completely revolutionized the personal device market, transforming the way we thought about tech and what we expected from it. Suddenly, we had one device that could seemingly do everything, which, of course, makes the smartphone a kind of tough act to follow.
One device to rule them all
Some companies benefited hugely through the smartphone explosion — in particular, Apple — and as the technologies advanced, consumers increasingly backed away from buying other devices. In real terms, smartphones decimated the demand for previously popular products like mp3 players, digital cameras, camcorders, personal organizers and portable media players. When just one device can do so many things, there’s little need to own so many others.
A change in focus
Advancing phone technologies have almost become a victim of their own success. Modern smartphones are now so adept and reliable that in many cases, it’s difficult to justify upgrading to the latest model. As a result, the last few years have witnessed a massive slowdown in smartphone sales.
With the cell phone markets stagnating, all the major tech companies have moved their attention to improving wearable tech, which is great news from a consumer point of view as manufacturers attempt to outplay each other with increasingly sophisticated devices.
Without exception, the largest of the wearable markets (and the one showing the greatest potential) is the smartwatch sector. All the major players now produce a range of smart watches for both men and women.
Also, while earlier models were rather basic and almost exclusively aimed at sports enthusiasts, there has recently been a massive expansion in luxury smart watches for men, with sleek designs and tech that would make the geekerati proud. There’s now an increasing awareness among smartwatch manufacturers that many users also want a more design-led approach.
The future of wearable tech
Google tried — and largely failed — to entice us with smart glasses, but don’t think that’s the end of the line for alternative wearable tech. There are several other ideas the large companies have for ways to expand into the wearables markets including belts, implants, earbuds, patches and tattoos.
Right now, though, smart watches are where the most exciting developments and progress are being made. There’s little doubt, this tech is here to stay and will only continue to improve over the coming months and years.