While the smartwatches on the market today are actually nice and revolutionary, the sales of these watches are still slowly accumulating. It is expected that about 1.2 million smartwatches will ship this year, a paltry number compared to the estimated 1.5 billion smartphone users in the world. What could be the reason behind this? Chances are that the current smartwatches don’t have the critical components or features that will make them a runaway success.
Euromonitor’s head of gadgets, Loo Wee Teck, commented current smartwatches are just not that great a customer proposition yet.
“Smartwatches try to replicate the smartphone experience on a minuscule wrist-sized screen, which means inferior usability or elsewhere seek to check and extend the functionality of smartphone onto an inferior screen”
So what will make an ideal smartwatch?
yoursite.com have condensed it down to five components that require to be addressed before we are able to see this class of wearable electronics remove. These five components are design, functionality and reliability, apps, power consumption and battery life and lastly, durability. Why do I believe that these are important? Well let’s look at them one at a time.
The design of the smartwatch can be split into three separate parts, namely the watch body, the watch face and finally the wrist strap.
The first thing that people look at would likely be the watch body. Is it too bulky, does it look cool and fashionable? The perfect body should be ideal for both casual and formal wear. For instance, the Pebble using its nice clean sporty look would blend well sports attire but might look a bit out of place when worn with a suit and tie. The newer contenders like the AGENT or Vachen however, could possibly be worn with normal casual attire or formal wear.
The watch bodies ought to be at a reasonable size aswell. How big is the dive computers created by Suunto are a pretty decent size without being unwieldy. They could be worn like a normal wristwatch and most divers do that.
Most guys usually do not mind larger watches however, many ladies do. Should there be two watch sizes? Perhaps this might be a good solution, after all, we’ve had watch sizes for women and men all of this while. However, add an excessive amount of bulk to the watch also it becomes one chunky thing on the wrist that attracts no-one. The difference in watch size could imply that more goodies could be crammed into it. A larger batter will be the most welcomed and perhaps some sensors as well?
Of course the watch body should match the watch face it is displaying. The watch face, just like the body, should be able to match different dressing needs as well. This is easier as the watch face could be changed with the press of a button. So this is a thing that the watch makers or third party developers will need to take note of. While the watch body can have a general design that fits most dressing needs, the watch face should match a specific theme. A formal classy watch face for more formal occasions to large sporty display for sporting needs, there must be enough watch faces to interest different users and their needs.
Pebble made this possible by releasing an SDK for third party developers to create their own watch faces. This has lead to an enormous library of watch faces for the Pebble. Vachen took another approach. They develop their very own watch faces but promise over 100 watch faces available upon the launch of the Vachen watch.
Finally, the watch strap. Similar to the two other parts mentioned, the watch strap ought to be able fit most dressing situations and there are two possible ways to do this. The first way would be like the design fundamentals of the watch body in a way that the watch strap would look good whether it is worn with casual or even more formal wear. A good example of this design method will be the watch straps of the Agent watch. It features an accent-stitched watch strap that looks chic enough for normal wear however the stitching adds that extra bit of class that makes it blend with formal wear aswell.
A second option would be for the strap to be easily replaceable. As the Pebble and Agent use standard 22mm watch straps that are easily changed with a little screw driver, this might still be a bit too troublesome for a few, especially if you change straps often or come in a rush. The Sony SmartWatch and Motorola MotoActv offer an interesting alternative. The watch body includes a spring-loaded clip which is used to clip onto the watch strap, allowing for really quick changes. The only real downside of this method is that the clip adds quite a bit of thickness to the body.