Hot in Tech:
Wearable is Officially In!
By Kia Dargahi
Anyone remember CES 2014? It almost seems like eons ago, but that’s getting off the real reason I brought it up. The big theme of this year’s biggest electronics convention was indeed wearable technology (and I suppose 4K resolution). Before then, there only existed a handful of wearables, ranging from the pebble smart watch to the revered Google Glass. This being said, one would be committing a fashion “faux-pas” by wearing such devices (see Gla**holes). But now, with the design, availability, and practicality of such devices increasing, it appears as if wearable technology may finally see a wider spectrum of usage.
Let’s open with such devices as the pebble steel and more importantly the Moto 360. The devices themselves appear to be your run of the mill smart watch; but as the transformers have taught us, there’s more to them than meets the eye. The pebble steel combines pebble’s intuitive interface with a timeless stainless steel design and offers excellent battery life for a wearable. The Moto 360 is even more amazing than the former; finally we have a round smart watch! But that’s not all, I would go so far as saying that the Moto 360 has the most practical and best looking interface of any smart watch currently on the market by using Google’s iconic card interface with voice commands on that beautiful round display.
The most important element of these watches has to be that they’re unobtrusive, look great, and look like ACTUAL watches! From a purely design standpoint, they are aesthetically pleasing watches and have a functional element to them as well. Their interfaces are among the best in the field, but it’s the amalgamation of these two factors that make them complete as packages (the Moto 360 more so than the pebble steel). Furthermore, what makes them finally socially acceptable is the presence of many big name companies in the field (LG, Samsung, Google, Motorola just to name a few). It appears thus as if the wearable cake is rising and coming together.
There is, however, a small detail that is being omitted. For example, yes the Glass project finally went public but are you going to purchase one? Unless you’re a massive techie, the answer will most likely be no as the price point is rather shocking: $1499. That could serve as a down payment on a car! The main reason this price point is unjustifiable is that it is 3 times the average price of an off contract smartphone and more than 7 times the price of a subsidized smartphone! It is important to note that the Glass does not have any more functionality than does your smartphone and in fact has a very small niche to penetrate at this price point. Don’t you see why you’d look like a Gla**hole with one of these now?
This argument can apply to all wearable technology to some extent. There isn’t enough of a need for such a device in order to justify its smartphone like price point. However, this doesn’t stop people from purchasing such devices as the size and usability differs obviously from person to person. The active jogger will not want to pull out his phone in order to read his/her text; a simple glance at his/her wearable will suffice. And with specific tasked wearables such as the fitness inspired fitbit, there are tons of reasons to justify a purchase of such a wearable, just not enough for the general population. You won’t be looked at twice for having one though; the novel invention isn’t quite as rare as it was before.
Are you planning on purchasing a wearable? Are you convinced that the niche is too small for these at the moment? Do you think that wearables are in? Chime in down below!