There are already enough questions raised by several blogs
and individuals about the potential success of the generation smartwatches.
The geek-factor was a serious issue in older generation smartwatches, batteries
were not small enough yet and no one really knew what to do with it. Apple's smartwatch
is one of the latest ones in the market and they put a lot of effort in
making it look sexy rather than geeky as did Huawei
sexy look might not be enough however. Hereunder three reasons why I think the
smartwatch will not take off yet
The wearing style, wrist mounted, has implications for what
you can do with the product, or rather what you can’t do with this product. Reading the time
on your watch is an activity that requires muscle-power and thus energy as you
need to rotate your arm up and inward towards your line of sight while your forearm
needs to pronate almost to its maximum.
This will not cause problems for a short amount of time, however
for longer periods of interaction like reading rich content or opening multiple apps
sequentially this will inevitably create fatigue and you will reach back to your smartphones
Secondly, worldwide only 27% of consumers wear wristwatches
on a daily basis or at least a few
times a week. Additional features, next to reading time, will certainly boost
this number but there will still be a large number of people who will not buy
smartwatches because they don’t like to strap something on their wrist. How to
reach these people as well?
Another element that should be addressed here is content. Users mostly value rich-content-apps
, like Google Maps, YouTube or Facebook, containing
pictures, stories, posts, all requiring heavy browsing. This content is not
available on nowadays smartwatches or at least not in a way that it enables
easy browsing and thus consumers doubt whether notifications and some
monitoring is value enough for spending their buck. On top of that, they would
have to accept getting thru the content thru a small screen.
As consumers currently are mainly looking for solutions to
enable rich content and the smartwatch is not providing that solution as good
and as comfortable as smartphones do, consumers stay reluctant buying smartwatches no matter how well designed
they are. The lack of monitoring-apps, a potential direction for smartwatches,
makes them even more hesitant.
But that doesn’t mean consumers will have to stay reluctant. The amount of monitoring apps will grow
as well as the quality of monitoring whether for health or for sport. Next to
that, the smartwatch wearing style and form factor make it ideal for instant
interaction with several apps without the necessity of taking out the phone, waiting for the full-experience app to load.
Think of checking updates from rich content apps like Facebook, getting basic
directions while walking or replying to a voice message thru WhatsApp. In that
sense, it is plausible to imagine the smartwatch industry will not
only redefine itself but as well the smartphone industry in coming years. Smartphones
will become more dedicated for longer usage while smartwatches will grow
towards dedicated notification and monitoring activities.