I’ve always been a bit of a watch fanatic, so I particularly geek out when it comes to wearable tech. And from a market perspective it’s not just Apple’s Tim Cook who “thinks the wrist is interesting.” Over the past year, the market has exploded with so called smart watches that interact with certain features of one’s smartphone via Bluetooth.
This genre of watch started gaining traction on Kickstarter with a couple of startup companies – Pebble having received the most press and attention. But while I waited for my white Pebble to ship (which was the last color to do so), I received the MetaWatch last year.
Conclusion on the
space so far?
It’s still very nascent with lots of potential – And while the features of the watches have a sort of “cool” factor, at the end of the day (for me) the only functional value I really get from the watches, is the ability to quickly see a text message from someone when it would be hard to look at my phone.
I also found that both watches have had their share of bugs (I’m an iOS user) – both “froze” on me and it took draining the batteries or re-connecting the charger to solve the issues. In general, Pebble as a watch + its experience (set up, maintenance, etc.) is a lot more smooth and buttoned up. The MetaWatch is much more of a “techie’s” device – Firmware upgrades are very clumsy and not for the novice. The MetaWatch also needs to be manually reconnected via a two step process every time it looses its connection. But I do like the MetaWatch’s “widget-based” approach to its watch face.
Companies like Motorola, Dell, Sony, Microsoft, Intel, and Google are all (or have been reported) to be in the game – and then, of course, there’s Apple with the rumored iWatch which is where I’d place my bets on disrputing the SmartWatch market from novelty into utility – especially if they find a way to make a device that is less reliant on the phone.