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All posts in Wearable Tech

The Smart Watch Is Hot, Hot, Hot …

I mean just look, according to Techcrunch, everyone at Google I/O just got a choice of Android Wear based LG G3, Samsung Gear and when available a Motorola Moto 360.

Meanwhile while every techie, blogger and their brother are strapping on their Pebble, one of the above or other and arguing the spec of the pending / alleged Apple iWatch there are people saying,

“But I love my watch because it’s a classy, stylish watch. I don’t want a piece of tech on my wrist instead of a fashion statement.”

Are The Tech Companies Missing The Point?

People wear watches for a variety of reasons and most of them involve a brand choice based on good old personal preference.

Whether it’s a Swatch, Casio, Rolex, Breitling, Omega, Bell & Ross, Luminox or other brand the watch answers functional and other requirements… for some of us it may be the only jewelry that adorns our body and it can be an extension of who we are.

Along come Apple, Google, Samsung, Motorola, Google et cetera and launch these amazingly innovative wearables. Whilst they aren’t as in your face as Google Glass they are asking us to be seduced by convenient access to increased connectivity without pulling our Smart phones from our pockets. Don’t get me wrong I’m not anti-Smart watch but what we are also trading is that familiar feeling of comfort from shooting our cuff, raising our arm and seeing the face of the watch we know so well. There’s a reason we anthropomorphize watches with words like “face”.

Harley-Davidson Livewire

Harley-Davidson announced just several days ago the Livewire Electric motorbike (E-Hog?) which looks like a stunning piece of engineering and that’s the point. Instead of a tech company trying to encroach the motorbike industry with an E-Bike, Harley-Davidson expanded into the electric vehicle arena themselves and preserved brand, design and engineering integrity.

Harkey Davidson Livewire - Smart watch allegory

What’s the lesson here for the Smart watch industry? Techies will snap up Smart watches made by tech companies. No doubt every Apple or Microsoft fan out there will go wild for their Smart watch offerings but what about the people who love their watches as watches?

The Warptest POV

The Smart watch industry is going to mature if and when watch companies follow the Harley-Davidson example and innovate into the technology arena and merge their designs and engineering with wearable technologies. The encroachment factor for those who want their watch to be their watch will be lessened by having a familiar, favorite brand on your wrist that also has the tech aboard.

Some of us will probably hold out for that Microsoft “Surface” Watch but have a regular dress watch in the drawer for special occasions too. Others will wait for that Swatch, Omega, Breitling or other watch to launch their Smart Watch too.

Microsoft Surface Smart Watch - Mock up

Hopefully, some of the tech companies may take a bold step and partner up with an existing watch company to launch a Smart watch that trades on the brand loyalty yet still creates one more way to tie you to their technological ecosystem / platform.

Which kind of Smart watch do you want?

Last Week I Heard Robert Scoble Speak About Wearable Tech…

…the event was hosted by Google Tel Aviv as part of their Campus Talks series.

Robert Scoble Campus TLV Event

The talk was engaging and all about Wearable Technologies. @Scobleizer as he is known on Twitter filled the room with his personality as much as the crowd there to hear him speak.

Rober Scoble Wearable Talk

Some of the things I took away from the talk were: –

  • Wearables are here and the technology works.
  • People will opt in even at the cost of their privacy for the benefits they gain.
  • Services are mostly supported in the high population density areas like downtown urban centers.
  • Security is not about opting out it’s about the implicit social contract between users and companies built on trust and transparency.
  • The streams of data involved here are massive but each service is an ecosystem in its own right.

This being held at Google there were obviously Google Glass wearers there. One more take away from the talk was that Glass is version 1.

The camera unit design needs to evolve so it doesn’t come between the wearer and other people they are trying to converse with.

The Warptest POV

Wearable technology has incredible potential which we have only begun to realize. Robert Scoble evangelizes this niche enthusiastically and with a great deal of personal knowledge.

One thing that occurred to me after hearing about the miniscule sensors involved in this that I have thought again and again,

“Much of technological evolution in the late 20th and 21st Century owes a huge thank you to Star Trek.”

The big question is where will we be when flipper communicators, stun gun phasers, wireless medical tricorders and other inventions actually exceed the forward thinking of the show / movies?

I would even go one step further regarding Google Glass, perhaps the dislike many have for Glass wearers is due to the subtle, visual association with cyborgs like the Borg.

Google Glass Unfairly Compared To Borg

Personally, I’m fascinated by Glass not disturbed but it clearly has some iteration to go.

In a nutshell, Wearable tech is turning us into vast, mobile data sources. Those who avail themselves of this technology will be more exposed but will also reap the benefits.

If nothing else Robert Scoble is clearly our Captain Kirk, boldly going where no-one has gone before (with respect to Wearable Tech).

Are you going to follow him?