Trend watch: smartwatches, 2015 the year of the smart watch?

Smartwatches aren’t really a new, cutting edge technology, as they have been around for a while now, however arguably they have not yet reached that tipping point where they become a consumer mass product. Only recently have smartwatches been in the spot light with manufactures set to chip in with their encounters in the next coming months, looking to profit from what seems to be a new trend. We look at the sector in a bit more detail & explore whether this sector is a long lasting one.

At the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show las vegas USA, which is the pinnacle in innovative electronic products from international companies worldwide, a large number of new smartwatches were released from various companies such as Samsung, Razer Inc, Archos, Pebble, and fiver other companies, as well as a few startups. Some have begun to call the 2014 CES a “wrist revolution” due to the amount of smartwatches being released and the huge amount of publicity they began to receive at the start of 2014.

While everyone waits the anticipation of apple’s encounter, set to release in mid 2015, it’s important to draw some conclusions from their tablets. Apple’s iPad has been credited for helping transform consumer demand for tablets with its style, performance and desirability. The first incarnation of the iPad was no means an innovation in technology, but more like being at the right place & at the right time, backed up with Apple’s massive fan base & massive advertising campaign & recent tablet sales, they were on to a sure winner. Much can be said about the iPhone & soon to be their smartwatches division.

Sales of tablets have been dwindling, however we think that’s because of the huge uptake in early adopters when manufactures, most notably apple & samsung, released their variants in tablet technology early on, with tablet sales now petering & balancing out. We think tablet popularity is here to stay, at least in the coming years, however we feel that it’s not the right time for similar manufactures becoming bigger players in the smartwatches sector.

There are a number of concerns that we think manufactures need to address, most notably battery life. Also with the new variants of smartwatches luckily to last more than 24 hours from brief usage, & making it mandatory for the phone to be plugged into a charging device, preferably over night when you are asleep. Apple’s adaption has been delayed in release partly due to trying to extend battery life and improve charging, according to recent reports. The complaint that we foresee from consumers is that, “no matter how clever the features are, if they can’t be used because the battery’s dead”, is one that is likely to be heard over and over again.

The hype surrounding wearable technology is understandable, however if you look at actual recent products which have been released, they haven’t really took off as anticipated by the manufactures. Privacy concerns was at the top of the list in terms of hinderance with adaptation & market saturation. Google’s glass being a good example of invading public privacy & distorting intellectual property, there are huge privacy & ethical implications surround wearable technology.

The real question that needs to be asked shouldn’t be “will smart watches bury traditional wristwatches all together, but rather will smartwatches have any chance of succeeding at all?” Our team would likely to be sticking to mechanical watches, for now, interesting enough we think that with the advent of smartwatches only enhances the popularity of micro engineering technology used to develop mechanical watches. Todays overall watch market would indicate a mechanical watch revival, with vintage watches being sought after & much resembling blue chip collectibles, selling for tens of thousands under the hammer. Much like the iron & steel age was toppled over by the digital computer age, we feel this one is a victory for the old, which by no means should be considered or thought of as a bad thing.

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