Sony, Samsung, LG, Apple, Motorola… projects and products abound on the market of new technologies. For several years, manufacturers have released more or less successful concepts of watches. However in a world of connected object, the watch seems to be a good solution to a technological convergence. So why do we need a connected watch?
Obviously like the ordinary watch, a Smartwatch shows the time the date and really more, from barometricpressure and altitude to reading email and checking news. You just take a look, and you get all the information you need.
Throughout the day, you get notifications on your smartphone: incoming calls, SMS, email, upcoming appointments, tweets, Facebook notifications, social game notifications, requests for friendship on Foursquare, notifications of birthdays… Some are important, a large part is not. Nevertheless, all require that you take out your smartphone, unlock homescreen then check. What a waste of time…
Where the interest of the connected watch… Directly on your wrist, you‘re able to be informed of important alerts while being able to quickly remove those who are not, all without having to touch your smartphone.
It all starts with SPOT (Smart Personal Objects Technology) made by Microsoft. This technology allowed receive using FM radio waves: weather, news etc, this gave rise to some very interesting products back then (mostly weather stations), but the technology was not ready: it was slow, too slow.
Then a milestone was reached when Sony marketed its product LiveView. The first version was a complet failure, but it allowed forseeing potential interactions that could be between a watch and asmartphone.
This watch has raised big problems. Indeed, the LCD touchscreen and Bluetooth connection permanently resulted big problems of autonomy and ease of use. the autonomy of the watch was far too limited (only one day). Not to mention the quality of the design, she did had simply not been designed to be resistant: use of plastic, screen unprotected and no water resistance. Sold around 100$, this watch– despite multiple versions – has never experienced Success. Nevertheless, Sony has managed to implement an ecosystem based on Android. We can therefore find widgets suitable for the Smartwatch on Google Play, and many developers have played the game.
The establishment of the project Pebble on Kickstarter would allow the creators to raise 100,000$. After a month of campaign, they raised more than 10 million dollars. This proves that the connected watch is a real phenomenon and a demand for many. It must be said that this famous watch Pebble was very interesting on paper. Compatibility with Android and iPhone, a watch waterproof, fine and simple designed, a black and white e-Ink screen, a battery life of at least a week and easy to use. But unfortunately, the team at the head of the project ran out of time to properly develop the software part. Despite the presence of an SDK available for the developers, the Pebble suffers from bugs and a lackof features.
Business speaking, the market of the Smartwatch doesn’t take off as it was expected, maybe with the arrival of the iwatch from apple, LG‘s Watch Urbane and Samsung Gear S… the market of the smartwatch will definitely know a revolution and according to NPD study people growing more hip to wearables. In 2014 the number of watches sold was 4 million, and could literally explode in 2015 with 26 million units sold. According to GFK Institute ” We expect growth to 2 digits in 3 to 4 years. With a peak expected between next year and the following year “says Head of Consumer Electronics & Digital Entertainment at IDATE.
The number of players on the market is now bloated. However, the connected watch market is still a non market, ultra niche and not profitable. This mainly due to three obstacles: design, resistence and autonomy. If the side gadget may appeal to many consumers, the smart watches lacks the main attraction of the high-end traditional watches : sustainability, precious and the uniqueness. In an interview with the New York Times, Jean Claude Biver, head of the Department watches at LVMH, he said: “technology has all the wonders and the most impressive features. But there is one thing that it does not own: Eternity.