Samsung just presented its Galaxy Gear, Sony has its SmartWatch, Pebble sells an E-Paper Watch and Apple will probably announce its iWatch next week.
Everybody asks me these days what I personally think of those smart watches. Even a well-known European newspaper wanted to hear my opinion.
Well, I am not sure if these watches will make to become a mass phenomenon on our wrists. Already years ago Seiko presented a television-watch for the wrist that could receive dozens of programs, but the watch flopped. Why? The design was awful and who wanted to look TV on his wrist?
Today I see the same issues. Smartphones have a bright and big screen, they are easily to manipulate and the readability is good. The design of the successful smartphones is almost the same; the importance lays on the size of the screen, the thickness and weight.
So why should I wear something ugly on my wrist with a miniature screen?
What advantage gives me this object instead of my mechanical wristwatch?
What information is so important, that I cannot take out my smartphone and check it there?
What information should my smart watch give to my smartphone?
Is my heartbeat of any interest, or my actual excitement level?
Should my smart watch watch me when I see or touch something, so I can directly get the next offer?
Why should I want to make phone calls with such a tiny object?
Will I press it against my ear and shout to my wrist?
Guys, please tell me what is the use of such a watch?
And, please tell me why should I accept a poor battery life of less than one day? When I travel I will then have to take another charger with me. No way!
Future developments should concentrate on the smartphone and not be outsourced to a smart watch.
But, will I in the future probably need to buy both?
Will perhaps the iPhone 6 only work together with the iWatch 2.3?
Will this be a lucrative business model for Apple & Co.?
I only see a very limited group of buyers for such electronic gimmicks. I know Pebble sold some 300.000 E-Paper Watches up to date, Sony I don´t know how many, Google and Samsung will also sell some hundred thousands and in case Apple will come on the market with such a device another hundred of thousand of iWatches will be sold.
But I think this is it! In a first wave some hundreds of thousands of smart watches will be sold, but I doubt that there will be a second wave possible.
Everyone wearing one will get fed up very soon. There is no gain coming from such an object. And if the design is as ugly as the design of Samsung or Sony or Pebble, I don´t see any future at all.
Maybe Apple will present something more attractive, but I honestly doubt this will happen.
The only one that could produce a real sexy smart watch is Swatch. Hundreds of millions of produced and successfully sold watches do make Swatch the preferred partner for such a development.
If I had been Apple I would have cooperated with Swatch. Imagine, if the good and sexy design and the expertise of Swatch would melt with the iOS-world what a clever, funny and sexy device could have come alive.
Swatch would have insisted and given the device also a sense of humor, something one would just like and something that would have probably motivated us to buy and wear such an object.
But I have heard from the people of Swatch that they don´t believe in smart watches in the way as they are conceived today. “Just not sexy enough”, someone told me.
I fully agree! The smart watches are just not sexy enough, they are just useless in the end.
For a limited group of buyers yes, but for a greater public I doubt a possible success.
This is the same case as with our beloved mechanical watches: For us, a limited group of buyers, for sure the non-plus-ultra and everything we always dreamed about, but for a greater public just a waste of money for such an anachronistic, old-fashioned object on the wrist. The mass will continue to wear just anything on their wrists. Things we either don´t like anyway…
I know that some of my colleagues at watchtime.com are working on an overview of all actual smart watches. As soon everything is ready we will have it online here at watch-insider.com and at watchtime.com.
Now at the end here let me be a little cruel and provocative: I will at this point even stop to call these watches smart watch, since they are absolutely not what I understand a nice wristwatch should be. So let me call them nice temporary gimmicks that will occupy for a very limited period of time the very precious space on the wrists of future potential watch buyers.
For me these watches up to date are an epic failure …
You don’t agree? You agree? You think I am totally dumb? You think I am a visionary?
Good! Please let me know your personal opinion!