Wearable Technology is without a doubt a hot topic today and we hear a lot about the development of wearables on day to day basis. With Google’s announcements about Android Wear, it is termed as a beginning of a new era for Wearable Tech. Everyday new Wearable Devices are being launched and market is flooded with them. But my question is “Who is wearing the Wearables?”
Majority of the wearables launched are based on health & fitness namely Fitbit, Jawbone, Nike Fuelband, etc. According to a survey conducted by Endeavour Partners in US on these modern activity trackers, the results shows that only 1 out of 10 adults (over the age of 18) owns it, half of the respondents who are owning it don’t use it and one-third of them stop using them after 6 months.
It is being said that Wearables will soon replace the smart phones. But I don’t think so. Smart Phones are here to stay. Firstly, there were landline phones with which cables were attached and which could not be carried anywhere. Soon these telephones were replaced by Simple Mobiles which had an added feature of messaging and could be carried anywhere. Then came the Smart Phones with features like Bluetooth, Internet Access, Camera, etc. But what still remains the primary feature of Mobile Phones & Smart Phones is the calling facility which every wearable cannot provide.
I think the two major barriers for Wearable Tech are Design & Fashion. Most of the wearables have standard designs with variety of colors and not designed keeping in mind the appearance. Most of the wearables today being health and fitness related, they look good in the gym but look out of place when you wear it in office or with a fancy attire. Let us take the example of a Smartwatch, they come in standard design and are quite bulky as compared to simple watches which might be the reason for such low results mentioned above.
Fashion may not determine the ultimate fate of wearable technology, but it is likely to play a major role. If wearable devices cannot find a way to accommodate people’s fashion interests, these devices may find it difficult to gain traction with many people around the world.