Watching For Wearable Tech in 2014

January 2, 2014 2:21 PM
The Apple iWatch

The Apple iWatch

As 2014 starts the world prepares for the year of wearable tech. Gaining momentum through 2013 the charge is led by the likes of Google Glass, Fitbit, and the Samsung Galaxy Gear but how much do we want or need this latest evolution in technology?

Currently, the wearable tech market is primarily in three different categories, with the two biggest camps being that of ‘activity trackers’ and ‘smart watches’. As a gadget enthusiast, it is highly possible that given the chance my arm would be covered with all the available products on the market and yet it’s not. My issue with everything available is that it is good but it doesn’t do enough.

Take the variety of wrist based activity trackers. These little devices can tell you how far you have walked, how many calories you’ve burnt off on your way to the vending machine, and some even sport an alarm. That’s all great but I already have a device that can do that and better; it’s my mobile phone. A host of apps can tell me everything 90% of the activity trackers can. I have tried to convince myself that maybe one with a heart rate monitor would be enough to sway my view, but even then I run into issues. Many of the trackers which feature  a heart rate tracker work through holding your finger over a sensor. As accurate and proven as it may be, I don’t want to have stop during a workout to push buttons and wait, I want my heart rate constantly there and tracked.

A guess at what the future Google watch might look like.

A guess at what the future Google watch might look like.

It’s a similar issue of functionality I have with the smart watches available. Many are great as a bit of fun, but as someone who spends their day at a desk, my phone is always on show more than my wrist, making viewing notifications a lot easier on my smart phone. One argument is that smart watches come into their own when you are out in the big wide world but again, is being able to see the latest bit of spam received worth the £100+ investment? I just don’t think so.

So what do I want in 2014 to adorn my wrist? I want a watch that can tell me the time, notify me of my massage on all major messaging platforms and allow me to type or speak a reply, and then I also want it to collect my heart rate in the background and how many steps I’ve taken. All with a three day battery life and for under £250. Sadly as much as the rumoured Google Watch and Apple iWatch will be amazing, I think the true innovation I want will come from some crowd-funding ala-Pebble.

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