Wearable Tech: The Future or Fad?


Over the last couple of years, a lot of hype has been about wearable technology devices. First it was Google Glass, the mini computer you wear just like regular glasses. While the tech did gain some avid followers, the price range, awkward look and discussions about potential privacy issues, lead to the suspension of its sales in early 2015. Then it was the Apple Watch. Although it had a lot of hype around launch, the fate of the Apple Watch and wearable tech is uncertain.

The Apple Watch was looked on as a major development in smart technology. During the launch week, sales averaged around 200,000 sales per day. This number quickly settled down to 20,000 per day. While that number still sounds promising, sales have recently seen a further decline, down to fewer than 6,000 sales per day. So what’s the deal with wearable tech? Why isn’t there a major adoption rate of the Apple Watch and similar devices?

One possible answer is that the technology simply isn’t good enough yet. This has happened in the past. Just look at Palm Pilots, virtual reality and voice recognition software. They were all seen as revolutionary, but were too ahead of their time. The Apple Watch is repeating the process.

In order for wearable technology to become something everyone wants, developments need to be made in sensor technology. What’s the point of wearable tech if it doesn’t interact with your body in a meaningful way? Whether or not wearable tech becomes the technology of the future, or a short term fad, relies on the ability for sensor to gather info about the wearer.

Luckily, some advances in these types of sensors are being made in the growing fitness device market. Devices like the Fitbit and Jawbone have sensors that allow them to monitor heart rate, sleep patterns and movement. While these devices offer fairly accurate fitness tracking, many do not offer much else in terms of functionality. Hopefully it is only a matter of time before these sensors become more refined and make it into devices like the Apple Watch to combine the best of both worlds.

The last couple factors in whether wearable tech becomes the future or a fad is design and functionality. Reviews and general opinion suggest the Apple Watch just isn’t very useful. It does everything a smartphone does, but with less screen, and according to some, it also isn’t very fashionable. Once developers figure out how to make wearable tech do something unique that other devices can’t, and do it with style, wearable tech is likely to see the future Apple envisioned.

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