A View from David Zax
How Many Smart Watches Would You Buy?
One for every mood?
Odds are you only have one smartphone (unless you have a work-issued BlackBerry). But might there ever come a time where you would buy multiple smart watches?
I know what you’re thinking–you don’t even have a single smart watch now. I don’t, and I don’t know anyone who does, despite the multitudes who supported Pebble Watch to become the most-funded Kickstarter project in history. (See “The Most Successful Kickstarter Project Ever.”)
But think about it. You quite possibly own multiple watches, which you wear for different functions (the gym, the party, the beach). As Hosain Rahman of Jawbone recently told the Times, “You don’t wear the same thing when you go running that you do when you’re going to dinner.”
In the coming years, there could be something of a gold rush for your wrist among technology companies. As Rahman also pointed out: “The wrist is used for fashion and expression.” A smartphone is a pillar of a person’s digital life. But a smart watch? That might just be another accessory. And the thing about accessories is, people buy many of them. The smart watch could, potentially, be the rare province in the tech industry where function is outstripped by fashion. And that could be lucrative indeed.
The field of smart watches has continued to develop ever since I first wrote about it on this blog (see “The Smart Phone on Your Wrist”). The simply named Sony Smartwatch, priced at $149, made waves this year. Nike’s FuelBand takes a different approach, mostly feeding metrics about your workout to your smartphone–though it also tells the time, and runs around $149 as well. Similar in function is the curiously stylish Up wristband, from Jawbone (a tad cheaper, at $100). Other significant smart watches are Motorola’s MotoActv, Meta Watch, and of course the famous Pebble (also priced at $150, which seems to be the pricing sweet spot for smart watches).
Critical consensus does not seem to have yet emerged as to which of these watches is the strongest, and I, sadly, have yet to go wrists-on with any of them. But there is a growing sense–whether real or inflated, it’s hard to say–that smart watches may indeed be a significant part of our technological and fashion future, particularly for those of us who are a little bit skittish about wearing those wild Google Goggles out in public.
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