Friday, May 23, 2014

Is the smart watch market about to go full circle? Will one form factor prevail?

So, how is the market for wearables shaping up? Is round & retro the new flat & black?

Predicting consumer tastes is always the hard part. Let's look at the market for smart watches. Though connected watches have been around for more than a decade from vendors such as Sony Ericsson and Polar, they never caught on as mainstream accessories.

If I had been a smart watch designer, I would understand the temptation to create a freeze-dried version of the screens we all know so well: shrink down the familiar smartphone display, turn it sideways, and add a wrist strap.

But given that Google's Android Wear platform and SDK support both round and rectangular watch form factors, I have to wonder which shape will lead the market. While the popular wearables to date such as Samsung's Galaxy Gear and Pebble's Smartwatch are rectangular, I have to say that the retro round-styled watches do look like the could catch on. I've been pretty cynical about a real market for these gadgets in general, but I'm starting to see something here. Please check the videos below for devices from Motorola and a company called Kairos.

So, will the MOTO 360 become the RAZR of the smart watch world or will it be hip to be square? Only time will tell.

No comments: