Do you have a smartwatch? Do you know somebody that does have one? The newest technology trend of the past few years might have missed it’s shot to go mainstream…
Smartwatches burst onto the tech scene with a bang. The pioneer in this space was the Pebble watch. Before this, no one had really thought of smartwatches and the idea of having a secondary screen on your wrist was still an idea of science fiction. When Pebble made it’s debut on the crowdfunding site, Kickstarter, its success made smartwatches a viable idea.
I was one of the few early adopters that backed the project, and after a few delays, became one of the first to strap a smartwatch to my wrist. The experience was generally a good one. I could personalize the way it looked and withouttaking out my phone, be notified of when I got a phone call or text, or change the song I was listening to. It quickly replaced the watch I used to wear.
But that’s the thing: I always wore a watch.
While I found myself wearing my Pebble everyday, even upgrading to the Pebble Time when it came out, I knew others that bought smartwatches, whether they be Android Wear or Apple Watches, that stopped wearing them after a short time. And that’s the problem. For those that don’t normally wear a watch, having a smartwatch on your wrist is just another thing to remember to put on and bring with you when you go out. It’s a gadget that doesn’t do anything different or better than your smartphone.
People were looking at smartwatches the wrong way: they are a replacement for your wristwatch, not your phone.
That’s why Android Watches and Apple Watches need to stop trying to cram in more features. They need to realize that it should be a watch, and not a wrist mounted smart phone.
Pebble were one of the few companies to get this, and they prioritized the Pebble as a watch. I believe they began to misstep when they decided to start adding in health tracking features. A watch doesn’t really need that. Not surprisingly, Pebble weren’t able to hang on much longer after unveiling their newest gen to Kickstarter. The watches never even made it into production.
Pebble’s loss of their vision on the primary focus of a watch most likely chipped in on their recent demise and ultimate selloff to Fitbit. Here’s hoping that the next generation of Smartwatches learned something. If Fitbit focuses on creating an amazing watch, then add in smart capability, they should be on track to pick up where Pebble left off. If not, I worry that smartwatch users like me will never again get the devices that we truly need.