They have a name already. That must mean they’re going to be a thing, right?
And yet, wearable technology is not going mainstream the way that developers and early adopters continue to insist it will. In fact, wearable tech adoption seems incredibly lopsided.
Take the FitBit. It’s fairly successful and sufficiently mainstream to no longer make a stir when someone you actually know wears one. The FitBit is, however, a niche use product. It’s not intended to complement your smartphone use. It just complements your fitness regime.
Then have a look at those products that are intended for a wide range of uses. Google Glass, for example, is not only incredibly niche, limited to tech geeks, some professionals and early adopters, it’s also losing its core market.
So what’s the deal with wearables? The first smartphones to come out were incredibly popular. Remember the Blackberry/Crackberry phenomena? Then Apple changed everything with the full screen smartphone and people lined up in droves to get their hands on it. They could see immediately that this was something they wanted.
On the other hand (or wrist as the case may be), the idea of a smartwatch has floated around in the ether for close to a decade. Not one has attracted the mainstream. No design has generated enough excitement that you see 3 out of 5 people around you sporting a fancy new wrist attachment.
I’m not in any way an early adopter. I do, however, scan tech news fairly regularly. Nothing that I see makes me think that the Apple Watch is going to be “The Next Big Thing!”
We just haven’t found the big game changer yet. I don’t think that wearable tech excites us the way it excites the wearable designers and developers. And that’s a recipe for failure.