Jan 07, 2014

Is wearable tech a fad or the next big thing?

So far CES seems to be a lot of awesome TVs and tech that you wear this year. As someone who grew up with a 13” black and white TV, I can see the appeal of bigger and better screens in the living room. Wearable tech I am not so sure about. Do you think things like Google Glass and Pebble watches will really hit the mainstream, or is wearable tech destined to be a niche product with limited market appeal?

Personally, I have no interest in wearables. But I think they will find their place as yet another option for the people who do want them. I don't think they will replace our current mobile or desktop devices, they'll just be in addition to them.
I think wearables will hit the mainstream, but it won't be overnight. Early versions of the hardware must improve (let's face it, Google Glass is unattractive), more apps must be written, and more use cases developed. Already several carmakers are integrating smartwatch technology and Glass with their autos. As more industries embrace wearables, they will become common. Not sure about the timeline, though.

When it is unobtrusive and provides a real solution to a problem, it will be widely adopted. Unfortunately, with much of the wearable tech, I don’t see both of these things happening. Google Glass is frankly just too odd looking at this point to be widely accepted (plus….are you taking a picture of me?). Pebble watches for the most part are secondary screens for smartphones, so they are really not adding a lot at this point although I would expect more creative uses will be thought up over time. It does help that the new Pebbles are much nicer looking than the first generation, so you could actually wear them in a suit without it looking strange.

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