I remember my Uber driver asking me what I thought was the next big tech trend. My answer was simple: Modular devices. It seemed obvious to me because in a world of smartphone carbon copies, who doesn’t want to stand out? Imparting personality and specified functions to devices seemed like the best way forward.
He was clearly not expecting this answer and it only was after a few moments of awkward silence that he revealed what he was actually thinking of: Smartwatches.
The Apple Watch has definitely shaken the smart watch scene this year. While it isn’t the game changer we’re looking for, the expensive price tag didn’t seem to stop it from becoming a hot seller.
According to the latest IDC report, Apple has already sold 7.5 million Watches between April and October. You can’t deny that’s pretty impressive considering Samsung only sold over a million Gear smart watches for the whole of 2014. Even Android Wear has managed to ship 720,000 units, with Moto 360 leading the pack.
Despite the impressive figures for Apple, they are still not number 1 when it comes to wearable devices.
The touch screen revolutionised the way we interacted with devices, but we always knew that there was more to come out of the touch screen. C’mon, the movies have told us at least that much.
True enough, Apple came up with their “revolutionary” 3D Touch technology that they claimed required countless hours of research to produce, but ended up being not much more than a gimmick, at least for now with the low amount of apps that actually make use of it. Well, if you want something more revolutionary, the boffins at Qeexo might just have what you need.
Traditional watchmakers are quickly jumping on the smartwatch bandwagon, with the most recent ones to be Tag Heuer and Fossil to join the smartwatch arms race with Android Wear watches in development.
Details on company’s devices are scarce, with no information being given by the companies involved (even from Intel who is contribution chips and sensors for Tag Heuer) so it’s still up to debate what they might be coming up with, though Tag Heuer has confirmed that their Android Wear device will be a digital replica of their original black Carrera model but will still be a distinctively traditional looking watch.
Luxury watch makers often downplay current smartwatches as playthings that won’t stand the test of time, especially when it comes to design and materials used to make it. With the expertise of craftsmanship now going into tech, it will be interesting to see how does this pan out, considering Apple is trying to portray its watch as a fashion item instead of another tech gadget.
If money were no object, would you get an Apple Watch or a smart watch from a Luxury brand that’s running on Android Wear?
Android Wear seems to be off to a rather slow start, with about 720,000 units shipping in 2014, as reported by Canalys, who states that the Android Wear devices account for around 15% of the 4.6 million “smart wearable bands” that were shipped over the last year.
It’s no real surprise that the much anticipated Moto 360 was noted to be the leading device amongst Android Wear wearables, with the similarly shaped LG G Watch R outperforming it’s angular predecessor. While the site didn’t provide a full breakdown for the sale of each Android Wear watch in the market, it’s safe to assume those numbers are vastly inflated by fitness bands.
In terms of competition, the closest one to Android Wear right now is the Pebble which has sold a million watches since it’s launch ins 2013, but we’re expecting the landscape to change dramatically this year when the Apple Watch hits the streets.
Wearables is booming in 2015 and the most popular format in this product segment is the smartwatch. While technology the smartwatch market is dominated by technology companies like Pebble, Jawbone, Samsung and Sony, it comes to no surprise that watchmakers are trying to jump on board.
Swiss watchmaker for the masses, Swatch is the latest to show interest in a piece of the smartwatch pie. Popular for its pop culture designs, you can expect the Swatch smartwatch to look good at the very least but you can expect a lot more of the Swatch smartwatch. According to Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek, the smartwatch, expected to be released in the next three months, will not have to be charged. How this is achieved is unclear at the moment but let’s hope the CEO is not being overly creative or optimistic with what his product can do.
The Swatch smartwatch will have NFC and will be compatible with Android and Windows software. On top of that, it will allow users to make mobile payments at participating outlets