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Technologist Tuesday: Watch out: A Smartwatch Awareness


When the iPad came out, I was frequently asked, “I have an iPhone and a computer.  Why do I need an iPad?”  The tablet industry arrived with iPad and so many people were confused.  Do I need an iPad? Why? I rarely get asked this question these days.  Most people are getting a second or third tablet because someone in their household has taken over the iPad.   However, it still comes up from time to time.  My answer is simple:  A tablet can be a better way to do some of the daily tech things you already do. Surfing the web, checking your email, reading a magazine or newspaper has become a tablet preferred activity. On top of that, you open yourself up to a world of Apps that pretty much guarantees to have a least one or two apps you’ll cling to. This answer has all sorts of demos and supporting content to light the tablet fire.

Soon, the question will return.  “Why?  I have a smart phone, computer and even a tablet.  Why do I need a Smartwatch.”  This time around it’s quite a bit different. I think the answer might be:  “Because you have a Smartphone, computer and even a tablet.”  We have so much technology around us it’s time for a middleman.  Primarily, something’s needed to address the Smartphone’s obnoxious control over people.  The Smartwatch may help us all focus on the road and ease the need to keep peeking at our smart phones. Beyond that, wearing our technology on our wrists opens up an entire new opportunity for new App development.  With all these possibilities, the Smartwatch can be a great way to bridge your personal technology.  Or, the Smartwatch wearing human will develop abnormally large muscles in their left shoulder region as they begin to abuse the need to look at their smart watch thousands of times a day.  

I have high hopes for a successful world of Smartwatches.  We all are anticipating Apple to bounce back into the innovative arena with an iOS enhanced Smartwatch.  Apple’s recent business decisions do the rumors justice.  Hiring industry leading scientists, designers, executives & acquiring patents on flexible displays and battery tech are all good signs that this is going to happen.  When it does, you can count on the Smartwatch category being catapulted into the spotlight for who gets what for the holidays.

While we wait on Apple to hopefully surprise us, or for those droid users out there, we are lucky to have companies like i’m S.p.A. & Pebble working hard to get this category going.  One thing’s for sure about an Apple piece of wearable technology:  It’ will only play nice with other Apple products. That opens up the market for a great deal of competition.  Currently, the i’m S.p.A.’s “I’m Watch” and the Pebble Smartwatches are both compatible with Android & iOS Smartphones.  They are each very impressive and boast a great deal of features.  They’re in a very good place for a market that will soon get a great deal of attention.

Abt has one of the largest selections of watches in the Midwest.  Our Time Boutique showroom features Raymond Weil, Ball, Michelle, Movado, Rado and ten other brands.  There’s over 1500 watches in the selection and I just HAVE to know:  Are any of these brands thinking of or already working on a Smartwatch?  The Smartwatch world will most likely be made up of $100-$300 priced product.  For so many people, wearing a watch is a very serious combination of fashion and function.  I’d think it would be a success to offer more elegant options by high end brands.  However, the responses we got from a few of our relationships were pretty consistent:  The hand crafted Swiss watch market won’t be competing against the blossoming Asian market of smartwatches any time soon.

You’ve seen the couple out for dinner both looking at their phones.  It’s pretty bad what smartphone technology has done to some people.  I expect the Smartwatch to reduce that behavior but I think we’re all going to see a couple staring at their watch over their glasses of wine.  At first it’ll be a pretty good laugh.  However, in the end, I would ask  “Why?  You have a night out, wine and even companionship.  Why do you need to look at your Smartwatch.”

Hopefully Smartwatches will help tame our need to engage with electronics instead of worsening the epidemic.  I think it will.

The Technologist

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