Have you tried, and returned, a wearable device?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| April 4, 2014

Any company that creates something, whether it's a device, a piece of software, a game, or anything in between, wants you to keep it. That's the goal. They make it, you use it, and you keep it. In some cases, it doesn't even matter if you still use it. Just as long as you don't return it, you'll make the company that branded the product plenty happy. Of course, you'd make them happier if you did still use it, and told everyone you know how much you love it, so they go out and buy one (or more). As long as they don't return it, too.

Returns happen, though. Sometimes we just don't want to keep something we bought, or sometimes we can't keep it, for reasons that don't have anything to do with the product itself. For the company that creates the device, if there are reasons for someone's return that directly reflect the gadget in question, that's when they have to pay attention.

Maybe it's something they can fix. With social media, companies can get tapped into the consumer like a direct feed, and hear what may be a recurring issue with a device. Are people getting angry enough with one particular feature, or a missing one, that they're heading back to the stores or packing up the device and returning it? If they are, what is it, and can it be fixed right now? Or does it have to wait until the next model?

The wearable market is still a new one that's just looking to burst open. This year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, was the start of that explosion, but we're still going to see a lot of new devices this year, and leading into the next. Google's getting into the effort with Android Wear, with LG and Motorola (and others) on board to bring the wearable platform to life on new devices.

Finding the right balance of functionality and form in a wearable has been hard for companies so far. Pebble managed to get it mostly right with their Pebble smartwatch, and a lot of people are eager to get their new, Pebble Steel device around their wrist as soon as they can. Samsung has new Gear devices coming, which change plenty of physical details from the first-gen devices, as well as including something like the Gear Fit to really mix things up.

And we're still waiting to see if Apple's jumping into the fray.

I'm just curious about longevity. A friend of mine was really excited to get a Pebble when they were first made publicly available, and he ordered one almost instantly. He had seen the one on my wrist, and wanted to have one of his own. He wore it all the time for quite a stretch, a few months at least, and then I started to notice that he wasn't wearing it all the time. Eventually, he stopped wearing it altogether, and I don't even remember the last time I saw him wearing it.

Near the end of 2013, there were reports going around that Samsung was seeing a high rate of returns for their original Galaxy Gear wearable device. And, not too long ago, I saw statistics that upwards of 30 percent (or some number similar to this) of wearables owners return their device. The smartwatch/wearables market is going to burst open soon, but it looks like consumers may still be waiting for the right device to jump on board the train.

So obviously it got me curious to see where you stand right now regarding the wearables movement. More to the point, I want to know if you've tried one, which one it may have been, and whether or not you kept it. Are you still waiting for that perfect wearable? Let me know!

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