Hey, did you know that smartwatches are the next big thing? Oh, you didn't? Where have you been! The rest of us have been sitting over here, watching the tide come at us like an inexorable heavy wave, just preparing to crash down upon us. It's going to rain smartwatches soon. It's just a light drizzle right now, but at any moment we're going to see the clouds break open.
Honestly, I find it kind of exciting to see how fast the technology industry has attached itself to the wearable movement. Sure, it's the obvious way to go, considering our smartphones are already starting to peak in many different ways (even reach overkill, at this point in time), but the push for the wearable has been extreme so far. And it's not going to slow down anytime soon.
The fitness tracker is probably the mot dominant form of smart wearable at this point. While the smart watch may be the area where so much more is possible, the tracker has a simple goal, and therefore it's not so hard to screw up. That's why we've see so many companies release their own devices, from Sony to Fitbit. There are plenty of options out there, and that number is going to increase every year. Maybe every few months.
The smartwatch may have more possibility, but it's also the one area that seems the hardest to nail down. That may be because there's not much of a problem with our current watches, and the devices we've seen so far aren't really solving any real issues that regular consumers are experiencing. If there's any one reason why smartwatches haven't taken off quite yet, I believe that that's it.
So, what should manufacturers do? Address the problem that they're trying to fix, and then go from there. Are we trying to get people to stop staring/using their smartphone so much? Are we trying to make notifications easier to parse and sift through? In that same vein, are we trying to make sure that people are able to look at their technology, like their phones, only when they need to? There are more questions/issues than this, so you can see where the problems for the actual device comes in.
That's where I think Android Wear can actually do some good here. The way that it's integrated into Android itself, so that notifications are just an extension to what you see in your Notification Shade -- and therefore not independent of one another -- is huge, and will hopefully make sure that notifications don't get annoying in their repetition from main device to accessory.
Of course, the software is only part of the show, and that's why I'm excited for Motorola's Moto 360, too. More than that, I can't wait to see what kind of new designs people come up with down the line, now that there's a smartwatch/wearable platform to build around. It's a start, and Motorola's first smartwatch (for Android Wear) is a nice launch product.
It can only get better from here, right?