|Moto 360 Smartwatch|
Wearable technology is expected to be the next big thing but sales lag significantly behind those for mainstream products. Despite a projected growth for wearable tech shipments to reach 45 million by 2017, only 1 in 8 people have wearable tech devices. Wealthy early adopters between the ages of 18 & 34 are the group of people its been able to appeal to. For wearable tech to succeed, they have to re-position themselves for a mainstream market as opposed to the niche they currently serve.
What could be the problem, marketing or design?
So far in the wearable tech space, smartwatches are the most popular but they failed to create a completely new product category. Their utter reliance on a smartphone makes most of their functions repetitive and outright redundant. Only the invasive Google glass has been able to create a new product category and work independently without the need to sync with a smartphone.
Smartwatches fuse the traditional mechanical watch with software, making them ‘smart’ but to make any sense; they have to stream data via a smartphone. Take the smartphone out of the equation and a smartwatch is reduced to a mere activity tracker without offering a unique value proposition to consumers.
|Mophie x Opening Ceremony varsity jacket|
Perhaps even with the lack of a unique value proposition, wearable tech can become the next big thing if the makers realize that they are prominent personality markers and offer a wider variety of designs drawing on culture & trends whilst pricing competitively.