Counter-argument: There WILL be a future for smart watches

A few weeks ago, we published a great piece about smart watches and the passing fad they may ignite. This article points out that you’re essentially paying upwards of $150 to avoid having to remove your phone from your pocket, and that smart watches are just a stopgap before the next big thing comes out (Google Glasses, in this case).

Both of these arguments are valid and I completely agree, but these are also reasons why smart watches will have a future for consumers.

Smart watches keep your phone safe in your pocket

I recently bought a watch just because it was easier looking at my wrist instead of having to fish out my phone from my pocket to see the time; for this reason, having a watch lowers the risk of dropping your phone. I would know because that’s exactly what happened to me. I pulled my phone out of my pocket to see what time it was and before I knew it, my phone was on the ground. I ended up not having a good enough grip on it when I took it out of my pocket. You might say I just have clumsy hands, but this kind of thing simply happens to the best of us.

So, really, getting a smart watch (or any kind of watch for that matter) just to save you from having to fish out your phone from your pocket is a really nice convenience that could also save your phone from destruction.

Expensive, but it’s not just a simple watch

As far as the price of smart watches, $100 for the Pebble smart watch isn’t that bad of a price for the technology you’re getting. A lot of people spend much more on less sophisticated designer watches, so spending a hundred dollars on a watch that has Bluetooth, a digital display and can do more than just tell the time is quite impressive.

The next big thing isn’t here yet

As far as smart watches being a stopgap, that may be true, but who really knows when Google Glasses will be available to the public? (Google co-founder Sergey Brin says Google Glasses may possibly be releasing next year). When they eventually do hit the market, will they even be marked at a price that a majority of the public can even afford? And even if they were affordable, how long would it take for Google Glasses to be in style and be a normal part of life? A couple of years? Maybe even longer?

Conclusion

Overall, it’s hard to tell at this point what the fate of smart watches will be in the future; it’s still too new of a technology to really analyze and figure out. Smart watches might be here to stay for a long time or they really could just be a stopgap. In any case, I wouldn’t write them off just yet.

For me, smart watches are devices that I could see myself really getting into and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Will there really be a future for Smart Watches?

The smartwatch is a fairly new concept but has, so far, failed to take off in a mainstream way. And with good reason. At worst, they are utterly pointless, and at best, just a stopgap filling the void before something better and with a longer shelf-life is released. Or perhaps I’m alone in thinking this way.

The recent success of Pebble has seen many people waxing lyrical over the phenomenon. But that’s just tech bloggers, I hear you cry. Not so. They may be the ones shouting the loudest but the $10 million the project has so far raised on Kickstarter has come from a lot more than just geeks with a penchant for gadgets. These are ordinary people sinking money into a genre of product I personally cannot see the point of.

Smartwatches such as Pebble or the Sony SmartWatch are digital display devices which feed off information provided by the smartphone that accompanies them – including the time of day. Oh there’s a little more to them than that, with apps that can tell you how far you’ve run or how fast you’ve cycled. But nothing all that exciting and, crucially, nothing you can’t already do on your smartphone.

So let me get this straight. This is a watch costing $150 that will do little beyond saving me from having to fish my phone out of my pocket. And that’s it. I have to conclude this is a form factor for lazy people, those who have become so intolerant of pulling out their phone every time they want to read a text message that they would rather look at their wrist instead.

Smartwatches offer nothing beyond what we already have at our disposal apart from being an extra link in the chain.

Just a Stopgap

Even if everybody does have an innate desire to stay connected at all times so much that they feel the need to own smartwatches, I cannot see this form factor being anything more than a stopgap. A watch which still needs to be connected to a phone is only useful to a point. And it will soon be superseded by the next big thing. Like Project Glass for example.

Let’s rewind to the beginning of April for a moment and remind ourselves what future Google is imagining for us all.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/embed/9c6W4CCU9M4

Do you think anyone will be wearing a smartwatch paired to their phone when the majority of early adopters are already sporting similar tech in their glasses? I assume that Project Glass specs will eventually be standalone units replacing rather than complementing smartphones. But even if the first-generation devices, which are now already at the prototype stage and being worn by Google co-founder Sergey Brin, require pairing with a phone they’ll still be cooler than a smartwatch.

Smartwatches may be a hit on Kickstarter but for me, they’re a total nonstarter.