For a while, many have claimed wearable technology is getting ready to take off. Maybe, but for now we're waiting on the runway. We've heard over and over again that this year is the year for wearable technology. So far, the assumptions have come up flat, but there is a strong case for 2015 to be the year that really gets wearable innovation going.
As of now, the Apple Watch is tentatively set for release early 2015. Until that happens, most of those looking for a smartwatch are holding off on their purchase. That shouldn't be surprising. It really isn't any different than when the last iPhone was announced. People held off on their new phone purchases, waiting to see what Apple would release. Likewise, everyone is looking to see what Apple Watch does, as it will most likely be interpreted as the standard that sets the tone for later devices.
It's important to point out that the Apple Watch will also be important in bringing new consumers over to the wearable tech revolution. Right now, proponents of the smartwatch aren't very outspoken or numerous. If you're in a public place, take a look around you. How many people are wearing a smartwatch? Most likely very few. That being said, Apple has the ability to take an existing technology, and make it much more appealing to the masses.
Let's step back and talk about the general perception of smartwatches on the market right now. There are definitely early adopters who have sipped the Kool-Aid and tout a number of benefits from their new wrist gadgets. However, for the most part, public perception of the smartwatch hasn't been great. That may be because the average consumer hasn't really grasped their benefit quite yet. We assumed that because fitness trackers became so popular, other wearables, like smartwatches, would follow the same trend. Unfortunately, while we clearly understand the advantages of tracking our health and reaching personal goals, most don't grasp the added advantage of something that offers most of the same features as our phones.
This is where Apple can be a game changer. Apple is one of those companies that has a diehard following. For those who disagree, check out the lines the next time a new gadget is released. In those lines are consumers who will buy something from Apple just because it's Apple. Therefore, there'll be those who normally wouldn't get a smartwatch who will, simply because of that lovely Apple logo. This could very well be what starts the chain reaction that helps get these devices, and others like them, off the shelves.
What's interesting is how a successful Apple Watch could actually lead to increased sales for other manufacturers. Let's revisit the iPhone to see how this works. Smartphones existed before the first iPhone, but Apple's innovation was the spark that fueled the mobile revolution. Others saw the success and started making their own. The same happened with tablets and the iPad. And, if logic follows, the same will most likely occur with the Apple Watch. More people will start wearing them, and suddenly other consumers will want to follow the early adopters. Manufacturers will see the success and try to improve on the technology, hoping to convert customers to their brand and products. People will begin comparing how other smartwatches compare to the Apple Watch, and choose whichever they prefer. Soon, you'll see as many high tech watches as smartphones and tablets.
We're still a few years away from seeing wearable match mobile in terms of popularity. As more and more people jump on board, and better, more innovative devices are created, we'll start to see big changes. Not to mention, with an increasing number of companies adopting BYOD (What is BYOD?) policies, more and more devices will make their way into the workface. This is a proven testing ground that expands functionality and usefulness, opening the doors to improvements and other ideas. So who knows, maybe Apple Watch will cause the big bang needed to expand the wearable universe.