Smart Watches: the next tech flop

In Featured on App, Technology, The Mobile Customer by Kevin KellyLeave a Comment

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A couple of days ago I wrote about the power of crowdfunding to finance a product. I never mentioned how much I don't like that certain product: smart watches.

Crowdfunding isn't the only way smart watches are being funded: in fact, almost every major consumer electronic company is working on a smart watch. Yes, this means Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Google, LG, Qualcomm, Sony, and Toshiba are all throwing significant amounts of money to digital watch innovation. These designs will offer consumers the ability to sync their digital lives—personal and professional—with their wrist for constant connectivity. In one interpretation, digital watches can be understood as the corporeal prosthetic of your smartphone using Bluetooth or similar radio technologies. From this standpoint however, smart watches don't even make sense because Bluetooth is a notorious slayer of battery life.

My stance comes from a more philosophical standpoint so I think smart watches in general don't make sense. I'm admittedly notorious among my friends for scoffing at new trends, but I think digital watches and Google Glass draw a crystal clear line for me: I don't want to digitize my body.

My body is the space where I do not take calls, answer emails, like Instagram photos, or reply to ‘urgent' emails. I want to leave it like that. I need to. I am not hardwired or programmed to live like that and I truly hope other consumers feel this way.

I might be way off base and may end up with a smart watch in a year but for now, pushing back is all I can do. Humans are meant to interact with each other face to face without blinking, dinging, and vibrating wrist watches. My pocket and computer are already constantly buzzing—why would I want my wrist to follow suit?

[photo—flickr ianfogg42]

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