Recently, Mubaloo launched ThinkTank, a new internal monthly session where we discuss a topic in-depth to help share knowledge to help with future or current projects.
For the first ThinkTank, we focused on the burgeoning world of wearables on the wrist. Daniel Baker, Junior Mobile Strategy Consultant at Mubaloo shares the insight from the session. This is post one of two.
Every week, it seems like there’s a new smartwatch launching or rumour about Apple’s much hyped iWatch. We wanted to find out whether we’d want to own a wearable on our wrists, what it would take for us to desire one and what the future has in store. If this is an area that interests you, please feel free to join the discussion in the comments section, or email me.
What are they actually for?
Google’s Android Wear promo reveals Google’s vision of how users will interact with a device on the wrist.
There are some clear, obvious benefits, such as providing alerts for notifications, direction information and the ease of being able to complete commands with voice control. Despite this, some of the team couldn’t see the benefit or value Android Wear would bring – especially if devices cost over £300.
It’s well worth noting that many people were unsure of the value of smartphones or tablets before they were publicly available. Much of the benefit, and desire for these devices, derives from the apps companies like Mubaloo create.
Our ideas that smartwatches will change…
We are still in the early days of smartwatches and wearables. In terms of Rogers Bell Curve, we are in the early adopter phase of wearables. In 2014, Deloitte TMT predicts that just 10 million wearables (including watches, glasses and fitness bands) will be sold.
When one considers that in Q1 2014, Samsung alone sold 89 million smartphones, it shows just how far wearables have to go to before becoming a mass consumer (or even enterprise) device.
At the moment, smartwatches are an extension of the users’ smartphones. We agree this is the way to go – as replicating the phone functionality on a watch isn’t currently practical. In addition, reproducing a device we already have, albeit smaller and with a built in strap, when smartphones are only growing in screen size would be illogical.
One potential limit of this however is that to work properly, the watch needs to be in proximity to the phone (which could actually also be a benefit, by alerting users if they leave their phone accidentally)
Smartwatches have huge potential. One advantage of the watch is immediacy. The user doesn’t have to fumble around in their handbag, or reach in their pocket in the rain (or an area blighted by phone theft) – the watch is already there in front of them.
If used properly, this presents an excellent opportunity for a second screen for your smartphone – providing you with nuggets of information, allowing you to decide whether you need to actually get out your phone.
Existing watches are starting to do this, providing notifications and options for dismissing calls and reading messages, but they are still limited in terms of what they can do.
Click here for part two.