Smartwatches are still trying to find their footing. There are solid options out there, especially if you consider the company that effectively kicked off the movement (Pebble), but there’s room to grow. A lot of room to grow, considering the smartwatch market is meant to expand into the timepiece industry as well. That doesn’t necessarily mean that smartwatches have to take over the market altogether, but many people out there expect it to happen eventually.
Because technology does that sort of thing.
Watches have been around for a very, very long time. In that stretch of time, it’s appropriately picked up some fans. I know quite a few people who picked up their love for a watch from their grandparents, or mother or father. That’s where I got it. I think it’s one reason why when I see a smartwatch these days, at least those that are currently available to buy, I haven’t seen one that’s immediately won me over.
And I can’t even say how many times that’s happened with a “regular” watch. Whether it’s been in a case on display, or pictured on a website, there are some ridiculously nice looking watches out there. Watches with batteries that can be charged with kinetic energy, or solar energy, or just have batteries that run for years. All with impeccable design cues, subtle aesthetics, or even bold colors that match the bold design.
Simply put, smartwatches aren’t there yet, at least not as far as I’m concerned. Paying upwards of $200 for a device that just echoes the notifications on my phone, and doesn’t look all that great doesn’t appeal to me at all. Even silencing the notifications, which I’ve done in one of my many efforts to fall in love with a smartwatch, just didn’t work for me because I didn’t like looking at the device strapped to my wrist. Having a watch that is essentially a smartphone display doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest.
This is why I think Apple may have something to actually make this market worthwhile. There are new watches coming, from ASUS and HP and Motorola and others that are looking to change up the square design, and that’s great, but it’s still up in the air if that will actually change anything on a wide scale. Apple, on the other hand, has the ability to impact the entire market, and make sweeping changes.
(Even if you hate Apple, this is something that I think all of us can agree on.)
The idea that Apple will have multiple devices available at some point in the future (maybe even at launch) is great, because it means that there will be options for potential consumers, all of which will have the design aesthetic that Apple will bring to the table. Whatever the Apple wearable is, just a smartwatch or something more, remains to be seen, but whatever it turns out to be has the potential to finally make some waves.
It could all come down to pricing, though. Along with reports that Apple will have multiple devices on tap, there are also reports that one of those devices could cost upwards of $400. That’s . . . well, that’s a little high, to say the least. I think it’s safe to say that we have to admit that Apple products come with an expected price tag (that’s generally high), but the features, the design, the battery of the $400 wearable would have to be ridiculously great for me to even consider that.
I’d never pay $400 for something that looks like the Nike FuelBand, for instance. Wouldn’t even consider it, no matter what kind of battery or features it had. On the flip-side, I’d never consider paying $400 for a smartwatch that takes everything right about a design of a timepiece now, but has a terrible battery. My demands are probably outrageous for the smartwatch of 2014/2015, but I’m okay with waiting. Are you?