The future of smartphones is a tricky thing to try and pace out. We can look at what we’ve seen over the last year, see where things have changed, what’s picking up steam, and what’s being left to the weeds, and we can make some pretty educated guesses. We’re going to continue to see big screens, for example. And our cameras are going to continue to get a lot of megapixels, low-light attention, and new catchphrases will be issued to get people to buy things.
Those are all the safe bets. There are still a lot of areas that are grey, murky, and will probably surprise quite a few people in 2014. It’s going to be an exciting year, of that I’m sure, and I can’t wait to get it started in just a short amount of time.
There’s another safe bet, though: wearable technology.
We saw the market really start to blossom this year, and 2014 is going to be a big year for the industry. I’m not sure if we’re going to see a lot of sequel devices, but we’re certainly going to see plenty of iterations and maybe even some pretty big leaps. Oh, and then there’s Google’s Glass project, which will fall out of that project class and go straight to the consumer market at some point in 2014. That’s pretty exciting.
As it stands right now, I think my favorite piece of wearable technology is Pebble’s smartwatch. I’ve tried a lot of different devices, and I’ve gone back and forth on why some of them make me happy, and why many of them just make me mad. From devices that don’t show you the time all the time, to wearables that just have laughable battery life, these pieces of technology have run the gamut of likes and dislikes.
For me, the Pebble is just good enough for what it needs to be, and for a lot of different reasons. Primarily, though, it’s the fact that it only costs around $150 (it’s on sale in quite a few retailers right now, for what it’s worth), and most importantly it tells me the time when I look at the face of it, without me having to depending something or activate another thing.
There are some watches out there that will show you the time based on the movement of your wrist. The idea is sound: you don’t technically need to have the time displayed for the dog walking next to you to read. So, show the time when you, the wearer, are actually looking at it. I’m sure that’s designed to save some battery life, too.
However, we’re dealing with technology here and sometimes it doesn’t work. So when I flip my wrist up to see what time it is and I’m greeted with just a blank, dark display that I ultimately have to shake to wake up, well, you’ve lost the idea on me. I don’t want to have to shake my watch, or press a button, or say a command (that’s not a real thing, but I could definitely see it being a “feature” one day) to see what time it is.
The other reason I really like the Pebble is the interchangeable bands. It takes a standard fitting, so I can switch it out for other watch bands when I see fit. I’ve gone from thin to thick, to white to green, and to several different textures in a short period of time, and it’s just a great way to offer up customization. Something that’s been a firm foothold in watches for quite some time.
If I had to change something, though, it would be the battery life. This is really the one area that I hope the next Pebble smartwatch addresses more than any other: I just want a battery that lasts longer than “up to” 10 days. No, it doesn’t take too long to charge it, and I can do it while I’m sleeping, but I’d still like it to last longer. That way I don’t have to worry about it dying on me in the middle of the day when I get near that cut-off point.
I’d probably include some more apps, too, so I’m happy to hear that that’s coming next year, too.
But, I want to know what you’d change about the Pebble. Whether that’s based on something you’ve discovered while you’ve played with it/used it, or something you want changed before you’ll buy one, I’m curious where you stand with the piece of wearable tech. Let me know how you’d change Pebble’s smartwatch!