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AH Primetime: Why No One Really Wants A Smartwatch Now, And How That Could Change

March 12, 2014 - Written By Patrick Northcraft

Tech companies nowadays are really pushing for us to get into the smartwatch trend.  There are many options available, and they are continually growing.  Devices like the Gear 2 and its brothers, the Pebble, and other watches that are in development, like the Google watch, have been taking headlines by storm.  However, we as a consumer base have yet to really get behind the smartwatch movement and embrace it as a whole.  Why is this? Well, the simple answer is a lack of innovation.

Smartwatches could very well be the next big thing in the mobile world.  Companies are obviously thinking this, as more and more are coming up with smartwatch ideas.  However, none of the watches are really innovative.  Think about it.  The first smartphone allowed for us to access the potentiality of our home computers on the go.  We could use them to browse the web, read and send e-mails, and play games, which is what most people use their computers for anyways.  The smartphone served as a mobile extension of that technology, and people began to lap it up.  Nowadays, almost everyone has some smartphone of some kind, whether it be an Apple iPhone or an Android device.  The issue with the smartwatch is that it is not like the smartphone.  Smartwatches are currently just an extension of the smartphone on your wrist, and a clunky one at that.  While some watches are more streamlined than others, as of now you are paying hundreds of dollars for a small screen on your wrist that tells you what the bigger screen in your pocket says.  The majority of the functions are dependent on Bluetooth tethering to the phone anyways, so there is not much benefit.

As of now, there is not really reason to buy a smartwatch.  Yes, they add a mild convenience to your life, saving you the few seconds it takes to pull out your phone, but other than that there is no real unique benefit to buying the watch.  What the smartwatch needs is a truly distinct feature that only it can pull off easily… something that actually adds value to our lives rather than just projecting something that already happens.  The big question is what exactly that thing is.  No one knows yet, otherwise it definitely would have happened.  Most heads are turned towards Google and Apple, the big competitors in innovation, to come out with what will be the next game-changing development in smartwatches.  It is a race.  The first player to come out with a smartwatch that has this ‘aha’ functionality will be the leader in the field.  Regardless of whether its Apple, Google, Samsung, or someone else, it will be extremely interesting to see how this turns out.  I for one am very excited to see this occur, and I imagine you are too.  What do you think is this magic ‘aha’ service the watch needs to employ?  Do you own a smartwatch and wish it did more?  Let us know that and any other thoughts you have in the comments!