While the smartwatches in the market today are actually nice and revolutionary, the sales of the watches are still slowly building up. 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 for this? Chances are that the current smartwatches don’t have the critical components or features that may make them a runaway success.
Euromonitor’s head of gadgets, Loo Wee Teck, commented current smartwatches are just not that great a person proposition yet.
“Smartwatches make an effort to replicate the smartphone experience on a minuscule wrist-sized screen, which translates to inferior usability or otherwise seek to complement and extend the functionality of smartphone onto a smaller screen”
So what will make an ideal smartwatch?
I have condensed it down to five components that need to be addressed before we can see this class of wearable electronics take off. These five components are design, functionality and reliability, apps, power consumption and battery life and finally, durability. Why do I believe that these are important? Well let’s look at them one by one.
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 folks look at would likely function as watch body. Is it too bulky, does it look cool and fashionable? The ideal body should be ideal for both casual and formal wear. For example, the Pebble with 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.
www.mysmartwatch.se/dam/ ought to be at a reasonable size as well. How big is the dive computers created by Suunto certainly are a pretty decent size without being unwieldy. They might be worn like a normal wrist watch 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 would 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 more substantial batter would be the most welcomed as well as 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 because the watch face can 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 might have a general design that fits most dressing needs, the watch face should match a particular theme. A formal classy watch face for more formal occasions to large sporty display for sporting needs, there should 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 very own watch faces. This has lead to an enormous library of watch faces for the Pebble. Vachen took a different 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 should be able fit most dressing situations and there are two possible ways to do that. The first way will be similar to the design fundamentals of the watch body in a way that the watch strap would look good whether it is worn with casual or more formal wear. A good example of this design method would 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 as well.
A second option will be for the strap to be easily replaceable. While 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 some, especially if you change straps often or are in a rush. The Sony SmartWatch and Motorola MotoActv offer a fascinating alternative. The watch body includes a spring-loaded clip that is used to clip onto the watch strap, enabling really quick changes. The only real downside of the method is that the clip adds quite a bit of thickness to the body.