So you’ve bought yourself a Pebble and you're showing off to your friends. May be you’re even one of those thousands of people who crowd funded them for over $10m in pre-orders last year. In that case you will be among the first to receive $150 slim devices that you can read e-mail, text and Facebook messages that sent from your Smartphone. I really can’t think of a good reason to get one.
I’ve seen dozens of different smart watches and most of them are cool at a glance, but very limited in function and I can’t see them becoming mainstream. There are others playing the game including Apple’s iWatch, ConnecteDevice (Cookoo watch), I’m Watch, and Sony’s SmartWatch and many others. I’m pretty sure, though, that people saying smart watches will replace smart phones at some point are way too optimistic, it is hard to predict the technology dynamics and how our behavior will evolve, but I am quite confident that it won't be a watch. Sorry Apple.
Apple probably have over 150 engineers and designers working on the development and hopefully to bring something to the market in 12-16 months. It will be the first post-Jobs product/platform and everyone is watching. People will buy because it is an Apple, but can it sustain itself and becoming a success is indeed a big question? I don’t like the watch idea for a number of reasons. First it is purely a novelty and too gimmicky. It is a totally new behavior to read text messages or email from your watch and no reason I need to alter my current behavior. Ok it has a touch screen, big deal. My smartphone is just fine. The smartwatch is at best a niche category.
Any innovation needs to anchor on unmet needs, not cool technology. Apple needs to decide what problem it is trying to solve. It might need to switch to a new interaction paradigm to see the opportunity differently. Apple is too stuck with the world of Apple. I believe there’s no stopping the trend of wearables and but don’t expect to see a clear winner anytime soon. The market potential is huge.
While analysts are expecting people to purchase about 15 million wearable devices this year and growing year after year, but they can’t tell you what that device looks like. We need to examine different adoption barriers and drivers that impact how wearables could bring along next platform wars. It goes beyond sensor and interactions into voice play. Mobile voice recognition, one of the thousands of artificial-intelligence applications, could reach one billion in 2017 from $73 million today, according to ABI Research. AT&T has devoted more than 1 million hours of research to develop AmI technology that can convert speech into text, and deliver responses to spoken questions. The future is exciting. And the future is here. And the future is unknown.