The Smart Watch

Last week, at an event I attended, I was at the bar after dinner and a few people sat down wearing the latest Android Smartwatch from Samsung.

There were a bunch of oohs and aahs.

I mentioned that I’ve never worn a watch and can’t imagine ever wearing one, no matter what is on it. I just have never gotten used to wearing something on my wrist, though I have tried many times.

I don’t think the ability to see notifications and calls coming in on my wrist instead of my phone will change that.

This reporter from New York Magazine suggests that nobody other than tech moguls and geeks are interested in smartwatches.

I don’t really have an opinion on whether the smart watch is going to be a hit or not.

But I do know that pulling my phone out of my pocket will remain the primary way I connect to the world when I am out and about.

I am not bearish on wearables in general however.

I really like wearing a “necklace” which I blogged about a few weeks ago. I like the vibration on my neck when a call comes in. I like being able to easily connect to the audio services on my phone without taking out the phone.

I can imagine there will be a plethora of wearables in the market in a few years and some of us will tend toward the watches, others will tend toward the necklaces, others will adopt the rings, and some will go for the glasses.

It will be fun to watch this market evolve.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Bruce Warila

    Sort of like bark collars for kids, I am looking forward to kid’s wearables that get them to turn off the lights, do homework, and clean up after themselves. And for teenageres, midnight buzzers, breathalyzers, and anti-entitlement bracelets.

    1. fredwilson


  2. LIAD

    if you aren’t in the habit of wearing the ‘analogue/dumb’ version of the wearable – starting to wear a specific wearable, just because it’s ‘smart’ still feels like adding a constraint/anchor/clutter to your life.regardless of whether it’s a watch/write band/ring/glasses etc – that extra object breaks your existing ‘status quo’ – it adds complexity and overhead to your life rather than removing it.we will see far higher adoption of each wearable amongst people who already wear the analogue version than those who don’ someone who doesn’t wear a watch/jewelry – you’re gonna have to build a super badass product for me to add it to my daily life in the long term (after the initial novelty value has worn off)

    1. fredwilson

      I tend to agree but I’m really warming to the necklace. Maybe its the wannabe rapper in me

      1. LE

        You totally want to be a musician or rock star because you can’t. You’d be happy same way you are happy when you are on vacation for a week but wouldn’t be for your entire life.Just realize that if you actually were a rock star you probably wouldn’t be any happier than you are today.And think for a second the type of people that are the sycophants to rock stars. [1] Not exactly the group you move amongst and enjoy now, right? And forget any of the “chicks for free” you’re married and have the chastity belt.The buzz you get is not only from what you do but who you get to associate with. (I’d take that over money any day myself…)[1] Ever watch Portlandia?

    2. Cam MacRae

      I wear the analogue version every day. There is a snowflake’s chance in hell you’ll see a smart watch on my wrist.

  3. LIAD

    came across Pavlok last week – a habit building, electric shock giving, wristband.hopefully v2 will be lockable and remotely programmable. (like in movie – fortress)muuhahahaha, [strokes cat]

    1. fredwilson


    2. SubstrateUndertow

      Does it come with a hammer ?

  4. awaldstein

    I’m with you but I think the market will there without us.If not for the display as the carrier for data collection. So many health and fitness based services are stumbling forward and will find value in this data.

  5. Tom Labus

    I’ve always wanted a couple pair of “smartpants”

    1. William Mougayar

      You smarty pants ๐Ÿ˜‰

    2. JimHirshfield


    3. SubstrateUndertow

      Would you still have to put them on one leg at a time ?

      1. Tom Labus

        That’s 2.0

  6. William Mougayar

    There’s also the bracelet & smart T-shirt on that list of Wearables.I used to be a watch freak and collector, but haven’t worn a watch for over 10 years.I’m “watching” the connected watch craze, but they are so 1.0 still. I’d like to see them do new things, not replicate existing features.That said, I will wear a smart bracelet, especially if it is good at sensing my body signals & feeding it back to me.

    1. awaldstein

      Agree that the data is the thing. Cheap bracelets as collectors will be everywhere once someone figures out how to reify the data.

      1. SubstrateUndertow

        Ok “reify” a word I sadly had to look up ?Got this wickepedia :Marx argues that reification is an inherent and necessary characteristic of economic value such as it manifests itself in market trade, i.e. the inversion in thought between object and subject, or between means and ends, reflects a real practice where attributes (properties, characteristics, features, powers) which exist only by virtue of a social relationship between people are treated as if they are the inherent, natural characteristics of things, or vice versa, attributes of inanimate things are treated as if they are attributes of human subjects.[citation needed]This implies that objects are transformed into subjects and subjects are turned into objects, with the result that subjects are rendered passive or determined, while objects are rendered as the active, determining factor.,Some food for thought when framing the world of mobile-devices/cloud-data as social objects.

        1. awaldstein

          Reify means simply make real and emotive and connecting.It’s what marketers do.

          1. SubstrateUndertow

            ThanksI’ll file it under synonyms for making it visceral .

          2. ShanaC

            i tend to use the marxist definition first..

  7. maxciociola

    Have one. Was going to ibiza, plane was full of teens, 300 teens. Showed them, how they can control their music, get notifications, etc. All of them loved. I’m using it, the main issue is the battery, come on…. i don’t want to charge my watch too, but i found it very useful. But the battery remains a big issue.Excuse me: what time is it ?Sorry my watch’s battery is down.

  8. Mac

    Captain Kirk never wore a watch.

    1. JimHirshfield

      But Dick Tracy did!

      1. Mac

        It’s a ‘star date’ thing.

        1. JimHirshfield

          Over and out

  9. pe_feeds

    Been seeing a lot on wearables, from fashion-focused (Beacon & Lively, Cuff, Ringly, etc.) to invisible wear (Wearable Experiments, etc.). We’re keeping a close eye in the sector as well.

  10. John Revay

    I too got the LG necklaces head set – still getting use to re: Phone vs Music, Left side buttons vs Right.My Imagination runs thinking someday – these will be actually embedded in our actual body – various sensors re: GPS, speaker, microphone

    1. fredwilson

      Yup. Or super small like in the movie Her

  11. JimHirshfield

    Nose ring?”Incoming call on nostril one, Mr Wilson”

    1. carribeiro

      Don’t start with nose runs and other piercing things. Weird ideas and bad jokes may start flying fast ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Mac

        Did you hear the one about the guy with the ambidextrous nose…..

    2. fredwilson

      I think it would be painful to have a nose ring put in my nose

      1. JimHirshfield

        But think of the upside: you’d garner so much more respect from the youngest of entrepreneurs.

        1. LE

          I don’t think that young people, when they see an older man in “mommy jeans” think “hey that’s cool he’s just like me”. They think “wow what a saggy ass”. That is if they even look at the saggy ass.Otoh, on my theory of “the party in your brain” I’m not sure it matters what they think. It matters what the saggy ass jean wearer (or nose ring wearer) thinks. If he thinks he is cool (and has a touch of aspergers so he doesn’t notice the smirks) then he will act cool and that coolness will have the young entrepreneurs loving him long time.(I know this all goes over your head by the way Jim.)

          1. JimHirshfield

            “mommy jeans”….nice. Otherwise, I think I got it.Thanks for noticing my piercing comment.

          2. Alex Wolf

            My kid calls them mom jeans, not mommy.And files them with bad middle age men saggy cotton sweaters.

          3. Donna Brewington White

            Went back and read it. Went right over my head the first time. Ha!Was actually envisioning a tiny little smart nose ring.

          4. JimHirshfield

            I was joking about the nose ring.But you know someone somewhere is developing it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      2. Kirsten Lambertsen

        It’s not bad. I had one for years.

        1. LE

          You’re serious? And why did you do that? And why did you remove it?

          1. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Totally serious. I got it when I was 19. I LOVED it. I might get it put back in now that I don’t give a damn.I liked the way it looked. Still do when I see it on other people.I had to remove it in order to get work as an admin asst in nyc in 1990.

          2. LE

            You didn’t answer “why did you do it”? Meaning what was the motivating factors that made you decide you wanted a nose ring?I liked the way it looked. Still do when I see it on other people.Gotta tell you that one of the barristas in the local suburban Starbucks had one and I couldn’t even look at her face. She didn’t last long there.

          3. Kirsten Lambertsen

            I got it because I liked the way it looked on other people.

          4. ShanaC

            ๐Ÿ™ You might be able to get away with it now…depending on the office

          5. Donna Brewington White

            I have a 19 y.o. and he has a penchant for piercings and tats. He’s keeping it toned down to some extent so that if he ever goes corporate he can cover or reverse. I doubt he will ever go corporate but I like the reasoning and the restraint.

        2. awaldstein

          New side of you surfacing. I like it.

          1. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Right on.

          2. awaldstein

            Hey–I had shoulder length hair and beads braided into my beard. Cut it all off to get a job and support the family when writing and my projects weren’t cutting it.

          3. James Ferguson @kWIQly


        3. Donna Brewington White

          I can see that. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      3. LE

        Watch me get into trouble with this comment. Doing stuff like that is usually a marker for instability (or social weakness) and other issues. Nobody wakes up in the morning and says “hey it’s a great day to inflict pain on myself and look like a freak”.

        1. M

          Spoken like someone who has never bothered to spend time learning about something before speaking about it. “Usually a marker” according to which legitimate source with research behind it? None, of course.

          1. LE

            to spend time learning about something before speaking about itLearning? You mean what, taking a college level course, reading a book, reading a NY Times article? Or?How about having conversations with people who have done that, observing them, seeing what is going on in their life and listening to reasons they have given for doing what they did? Usually starts with “I was going through a time in my life when…”. Or some rebellion type thing. Maybe wanting to fit in with the crowd or succumbing to peer pressure. Thinking it makes you more of an individual.Not to mention the fact that putting a ring in your nose messes up the symmetry of the face.Note I also said “usually” I didn’t say “always”.

      4. ShanaC

        from what I have been told, it’s not bad. The worse apparently is upper ear.I have a piercing in my upper ear – not bad at all. If you ever want a piercer, I know the best ones in NYC (also, they are crazy sterile)After the company takes off, maybe then I’ll get some more

    3. Andrew Kennedy

      well played

  12. Sebastian Wain

    I think this kind of wearware is useful when you have a phablet, have many daily calls, and the device form factor is impractical for that purpose.The other concern is being locked with Samsung and their apps, I would like some kind of standard smart watch APIs to decide which one is the best.

  13. Ana Milicevic

    I look at wearables more as a data collection mechanism than anything else (how many steps, what’s your heart rate, what did you see, etc. kind of thing). Consuming that data on my wearable doesn’t seem to be the optimal use of that medium and is in many ways a solution looking for its problem.This is now more than 4 years old but still outlines where interfaces & HCI should be going:

  14. Robert Heiblim

    I share your view Fred. It appears that all the devices to date are mostly experimental in that it is clear they will be revised after observing the actual use by a consumer. In speaking with many firms, they admit to kind of “throwing it up against the wall to see what sticks” approach, so we will see an expanding list of “features” and types (such as necklaces, on ear, on body, embedded in clothing, etc.) of product designs. As these are adopted ( or not) then a clearer development path will emerge. Very interesting.

  15. RichardF

    smart loom bands get my vote…

  16. Jon Michael Miles

    I’ve never been a watch wearer. However, I integrated a Fitbit Flex into my life to track activity. I like the idea of wearables but the key to me is invisibility and in thinking about it I’d prefer invisibles / embedables to wearables.Gadget companies have to make the gadget center of attention for marketing reasons, I get that. Fitbit does a good job of being useful but invisible. To me Apple gets the idea of UX being primary, and by extension Android and my S5 benefit from that thought leadership.May revise this opinion as I’ll probably get a Gear for the purposes of not missing calls (I don’t see myself with the bluetooth neck option and I’m tired of always carrying my phone around the office). But I still don’t like watches so I’ll be interested to see if I tolerate it in my daily life.

  17. ErikSchwartz

    I have put together a nice collection of analog pocket watches over the years. So I’m used to reaching to my pocket to check the time.I got a pebble via kickstarter. Meh.I think most of the health data collection wearables are gimmicky and get trapped in the fallacy that any data is insight.I totally see niche applications for augmented reality glasses (The TADS pilot gear on the Apache helicopter is a very successful real world AR system). But mainstream? No.The other jewelry stuff? The ring for instance? Seems like a stretch.Now if they can start doing the kind of stuff done at a mod parlor in The Diamond Age? Basically human enhancement using technology? At a mainstream price? That will be big.

    1. awaldstein

      Agree.Key is discovery the value of the data. If it is useful the devices to gather it will take on a different panache for certain.

      1. ErikSchwartz

        The health field is already overrun with very weak correlations being touted as insight, digital health is only making that problem worse. Lots of data points are not insightful without controlling for confounders.

        1. awaldstein

          Couldn’t agree more.

        2. SubstrateUndertow

          I suspect that may simply be a critical mass issue ?

          1. ErikSchwartz

            More confounded data does not make confounded data better.

          2. SubstrateUndertow

            But triangulated data does ?

        3. LE

          What I call “white men changing their mind”. Wine is good. No wine is not good. Aspirin a day. Wait new study maybe not the case hold off on the aspirin.Variables to wit:I just spoke to an extremely overweight person (in the 50’s) who told me his cholesterol is fine, and he is on no blood pressure meds at all. And had managed to actually run a marathon (even with all that weight – amazing!). He also has an extreme case of sleep apnea. (So he doesn’t get much sleep which might tie into the weight and other issues obviously.)I said “you know what? Genetically you are heavy and don’t get good sleep because you can be heavy and not get good sleep. What you are doing would kill me for sure which is why I’m not overweight and I have to get good sleep.”

        4. ShanaC

          Basically why I’m convinced that keeping my life simpler is the healthiest thing I can do

    2. LE

      I think most of the health data collection wearables are gimmicky and get trapped in the fallacy that any data is insight.Agree. It’s niche. Perhaps fad like. And another “magic pill” in substitute of what you should really be doing.Even more important this idea that we should be monitoring everything about our health, sleep, metrics etc. is another solution looking for a problem without regard to the anxiety that it creates. [1] Or even if there is a problem. Meaning if you want to loose weight you shouldn’t be checking the scale everyday. Bad idea. And if you need to keep track of blood pressure you don’t have to do it 5 times a day or even every day. And you don’t need to futz with your sleep with a device (other than if it ends up being some placebo effect.) All overkill people trying for the easy way out. Again: The magic pill.Blood sugar might be different (or dosing coumadin) or if you have a real health issue. Different story. Most people don’t fall into this category. [2] Or maybe if people go out and drink and they want a way to monitor that they haven’t had to much (and don’t want to use a breathalyzer). But these are not things the everyday person needs to or should be getting anxious over. Most people know when they have had to much. You really need a device to tell you that? (Breathalyzer good if driving so you know the line you can’t cross of course..)[1] Anxiety is a problem in itself. By looking to carefully you think about things and they upset you.[2] People are kidding themselves if they think masses will allow a device to change their eating habits. I just spoke to someone yesterday who has a weight issue. He said “if the pizza is in front of me I eat the whole pizza”. I said “what if someone tells you not to eat anymore would you stop?”. He says “no I would get annoyed”. He eats emotionally and gets in a zone and doesn’t want to be out of the zone. Like any addict he knows what he is doing is wrong. Obviously.

      1. ErikSchwartz

        A perfect example is routine PSA and mammogram screening.It is absolutely more data. But randomized trials show that having the additional data has no positive impact on mortality.Having all that data causes more people to get unnecessarily treated. Some percentage of those treatments have negative side effects. Some of those negative side effects are fatal.

        1. LE

          Exactly. Adding what I said before as well: Anxiety.Anxiety leading up to the test.Anxiety waiting for test results.Anxiety when tests results come in and are borderline and then you have to wait and watch. Big issues for sure that are not even mortality but super important health wise. Stress and worry.My sister texted me the other day and told me a former neighbor of ours growing up (her friend) had a relapse of cancer that had spread to a bad place.My reaction (because of the age and the fact that I knew this person) was “I don’t need to know this. It only makes me anxious and worried about my own health and mortality and serves no purpose at all for me to hear this.”

          1. ErikSchwartz

            Cynically I will note that a large percentage of non-useful and/or destructive data collection in health care is driven by people trying to sell data collection tools into the health care system.

          2. LE

            Element of human nature to want to rationalize something by finding some good in it.In this case, with health, it’s easy to find some value to hang your hat on. Same as education and religion.Just found this. Was thinking about reading stories about Philip Kahn (Borland) using his software for testing training analytics for sailing in the 80’s. I remember pictures of him doing that (can’t find any articles).Now I see he is into wearable computing apparently:

  18. sigmaalgebra

    Gee, you mentioned necklaces and rings: You beat me to those two!But you neglected ‘smart’ ankle bracelets and smart toe rings! We shouldn’t neglect smart shoe heels — why waste that space? And more, that is, don’t waste all that space inside the platform shoes and their six inch heels! And if we are not being gender neutral, then the smart cleavage!Don’t forget smart earrings! Of course, there should be smart arm bands, say, not for the wrist but for the upper arm. Nearly everyone wears a belt, so we could have smart belts. And, of course, last but not least, we need smart headbands — the style and fashion possibilities are endless, and the location enables direct brain communications! And, combined with a smart beanie, could have 3D phased array brain communications!After smart ‘wearables’ we should have smart ‘imbedables’! I know; I know; need a little surgery, but that can be just arthroscopic! Of course, while waiting for the full implementatin of smart imbedables, we could have smart swallowables! That could lead to smart flushables — now we’re talking! A huge problem with digital electronics is that it mostly doesn’t wear out and, thus, lasts too long So, we need some planned obsolescence! Flushables to the rescue!Of course, since we are getting rid of cars, sure, in about five years the world will have no more cars, cars are evil, we all know that we should not have cars, so we will have smart bicycles, smart, powered skateboards, and, of course, a smart Segway!Right away, call up Cracker Jacks and explain the future of smart Cracker Jacks toys!Smart Darth Vader helmets — should sell like hot cakes! No one would want to be seen without one!Ah, what a ‘smart’ future!

    1. SubstrateUndertow

      Smart shoe heels with built in power generation just might be useful ?

      1. sigmaalgebra

        We better tone down these ideas for a ‘smart’ future or there will suddenly be 1000 people at each of Apple, Samsung, Google, and Microsoft along with 10,000 people and $10 billion that IBM will put on it!Zappos will come out with a comprehensive line of high fashion, platform ‘smart’ shoes. Nike will come out with the $1600 Smart Jordan with electrical power generated by flexing of the shoes. There will be daily articles in ‘Business Insider’, ‘Wired’, ‘Venture Beat’, ‘WSJ Digital’, etc. tracking all the ‘progress’ in this new ‘smart industry’. Several venture firms will start special funds for ‘smart startups’. Tom Friedman will write a book, ‘The World is Smart’. Meg Whitman will emphasize that HP is a leader in Smart. Mark Andreessen will write a post ‘Smart is Eating Software’. Vinod Khosla will interview Friedman and Andreessen, and Fred will make the interview the video of the week. DARPA will ask for ‘smart’ proposals. There will be ‘Smart World’ conferences in Silicon Valley, NYC, Boston, Toronto, Vancouver, Paris, Berlin, Singapore, and Seoul. Fred will get invitations to speak, right between Andreessen and Sculley, and Sculley will be introduced as the guru of the ‘smart future’. Ray Lane will insist that the CMU CS department recruit a chaired professor of Smart Technology. Sarah Lacy will interview John Doerr who will say that “Smart is easy; execution is everything” and “Smart is not a bubble. It’s a boom.”. ‘Time’ will run a cover story with a cartoon showing a huge, malevolent ‘smart’ computer crushing millions of workers like King Kong crushing ants. The NYT will run a Q&A on ‘smart’ with Daniel Hillis, Stephen Wolfram, Ray Kurzweil, Stephen Hawking, and Tom Friedman. U.S. Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts will hold hearings on the threat of Smart and what legislation is needed. The NASDAQ will start a Smart Index of companies in the Smart industry. The domain name SMART.COM will be sold for $25 million, and the company that bought it will get a Series A of $50 million at a pre-money of $2 billion. Heidrick & Struggles will suddenly and frantically be recruiting for CSO’s, Chief Smart Officers, for a major fraction of the Fortune1000. The word will be, “If you can even find one of those guys, if you have to ask what you have to pay him then you can’t afford it.”.This is about to get out of control: Is that what you want? Do you really want that? No? Then we better tone this down. Once one of these waves gets going, there’s no stopping it. Once that toothpaste gets out of the tube, there’s no way to it back again. :-)!

    2. ShanaC

      actually, smart earring would work if I could get a mike in my hear. Then stuff could be read to me – or auto-translating while people speak.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        Good grief, Shana, I tried. I really tried. I tried the most absurd, ridiculous, outrageous, over the top, wacko, facetious, sarcastic, parody nonsense. I really tried!Then, gads, apparently you took one of the cases seriously!Well, Fred keeps saying he wants to invest where others laugh. So, maybe Fred will find several $1 billion exits in my little post!Well, here’s one more: I’m playing the DVD I got of The Australian Ballet performance of ‘Coppรฉlia’. Soooooo, run some wires from the ‘smart’ device, which can hear the orchestra and/or read the score, and, then, stimulate the muscles as required for a terrific performance of, say, the lead character Swanilda. Ah, with irony, an idea too close to ‘Coppรฉlia’ and the character there Dr. Coppelius, the doll maker who tried to make a life size doll of a gorgeous young woman and bring her to life!Note: This is a joke guys. This is NOT serious! Do not try this at home! Do not try this anywhere!Another joke: We like ‘social’ with a ‘network’ effect, right? And we like ‘smart’? Soooooo, take the smart headband idea and let it read speech directly from the brain and send it via WiFi and the Internet to, say, the college senior with her girlfriends at the other end of the bar! So, each girl will also need a proprietary, compatible headband to receive the message and transmit it directly to her brain; else, will be a wallflower in the bar scene!Next, right, have the headband capture the guy’s emotions the transmit those, too! Yes, guys, there’s a chance she will tear off her headband and run out of the bar ASAP. And, there’s a chance she won’t!Right, when he kissed her, have her headband capture and store the data on her emotions and, when he’s not there (working to pay for all this ‘smart’ stuff) let her headband play back the emotions for her! Then, guys, be wise, generalize!We want the headband to be ‘smart’, right? Soooooo, have the headband get, for each girl in the bar with a headband, answers to some questions; then do a little factor analysis and see what girls have interests in common with the boy and have the boy make his move to a good prospect and say, “You know, I bet you really like X; you look to me like someone who really likes X; I can tell such things; it’s a gift. X is one of my all time favorites. There’s an empty booth, and I just happen to have a fresh, cold pitcher of beer. Let’s see also about Y, Z, and W?”These are jokes, guys. There have to be easier ways to pick up girls!Gee, I’m going to have to work harder on my humor and will need even more ridiculous examples else someone at AVC will take me seriously!

        1. Donna Brewington White

          You will have a hard time in this crowd mentioning a possibility no matter how bizarre you thunk it is that someone won’t wonder about whether it could be plausible.

  19. Sebastien Latapie

    I think it will all come down to added functionality. As the products become more refined and pleasant to wear, if they don’t simplify and make it easier to what they would be doing with their phone they won’t be adopted. I don’t think many people will find value in being able to read their email on their watch, it will be simpler to take out the phone. On the other hand you have wearables like Ringly that allow you to be in the moment and disconnected from your device without fear of missing out on important call or emergency situation โ€” there’s a cool application.In my view, the most interesting space for wearables in my view will be around digital health and how they integrate in with healthcare. As they collect more information, how are companies going to use that to improve people’s health? Tracking isn’t enough, providing personalized recommendations that can change users behavior will be important for these to be successful.

  20. Richard

    One thing not being discussed about the wearables market is cost. Unlike the phone, wearable will not be subsidized. This means that the devices will be both lower in price and have a smaller potential market.

    1. LE

      Good point but otoh tablets are not subsidized either.

  21. Dan Epstein

    I could see wearables using health to authenticate things like payment, passwords, and locks.Replicating features that exist on phones seems like a waste.

    1. Jon Michael Miles

      Replacing features on a phone, ones that don’t need a bigger screen seems smart. NFC payments might be spot on. Now if I can get Gear or a company to be my car keys, key card for the office, we’re starting to get somewhere.

  22. Dave Pinsen

    Buck Rogers anticipated smart necklaces with its Dr. Theopolis.

  23. andyswan

    My cousin Bubba has been wearing a smart ankle bracelet for years…

    1. ShanaC


  24. Julien

    I’m convinced we’re missing the point about “wearables computing”. I just finished Nexus and I’m convinced we’ll see embedded computing before we actually see masses adopt watches, glasses or other types of wearables.

  25. Steven Kuyan

    I tried the pebble and it was too much of a nuisance with notifications and almost meaningless without. Like the Daily Show skit on Google Glass, its just too easy to take the phone out of your pocket.As @liad:disqus mentioned I think that people that don’t wear a watch, won’t get into it. For the ones who do, the developers that make it a watch first and everything else second will win the early majority and not just the tech moguls and geeks.Edit:Case in point, Fitbit’s partnership with Tory Burch. Its jewelry first, fitbit second.

  26. Twain Twain

    I bought a Bulova watch but hardly ever wear it because it scratches against my keyboard when I’m coding.There are only two wearables I can see being useful and wear-friendly:(1.) An earpiece as small as in ‘Her’. It can enable communications and measure blood flow.(2.) Small badge on clothing on the chest area where brand logos are at the moment.

  27. Eric

    I’ve taken to wearing a fitbit more or less 24/7. I think data collection and health monitoring is a strong use case. I’m less enamored by the idea of getting notifications on my wrist (ugh) or using voice commands, but a more refined version of Google Now could be compelling (but it really needs to be able to figure out when I’d prefer to walk vs take the train vs drive). And there’s a good security use case where a wearable can act as a second form of authentication for your smartphone. Notifications on the other hand get a big ugh from me.Passive is the key I think. The more things it can do without me having to think about it, the more compelling it becomes.

  28. pointsnfigures

    wearable glass in the operating room. how far can it go to drive innovation and make gains?

    1. SubstrateUndertow

      All that glass marketing seems so transparent ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. Twain Twain

        Ha! Ultimately, marketing and advertising is what most of the consumer technologies boil down to.

  29. Tracey Jackson

    You and Glenn. No matter how many watches I buy him he wears it for a week then sticks in a drawer.

  30. Brian Kane

    thanks to alex wolf for pointing me to this fun conversation. here’s a url with some of the fantastic student work from our wearables class at risd. we try and take a fashion first approach to the wearable space.

    1. Alex Wolf

      I wonder also how this might be fun for a younger than RISD crowd using things like LittleBits.

  31. Mark Gannon

    I do want to point out that HP was the first into the smart watch business. Didn’t get them a first mover advantage, though.

  32. Alex Wolf

    The concept of wearables is something close to my heart as a person who can make all her own clothes. My RISD friend Brian Kane has been teaching back at RISD with his Wearables class.…While I agree the watch thing can be as useless to some as they are useful to others, and more example like this abound, The nexxus of these wearables must bridge not just use but charm and ingenuity – like a Get Smart or James Bond gadget which is fun and enigmatic or clever.@briankane:disqus ‘s class at RISD is the kind of place where more flight of fancy and ethereality can be infused and it’s not simply about the tech. Because while I think the 360 watch is very beautiful, and FItBit is interesting/useful, there are more dorks in the design department than needed. I’d like some Old School talent like Georg Jensen or Yves Saint Laurent bringing that level to what I might be inspired to wear for function, not just form.

    1. Brian Kane

      we try and stay focused on creating memorable fashion and unique personal experiences. design comes first, not technology. right now i’ve been focused on a new wearable design to fit into the youth music culture but we are first studying the culture, and learning what people want. then based on what we learn, we are turning that into designs that already have appeal.

      1. Alex Wolf

        @Brian Kane:disqus What are the current tech wearables or technologies you and your RISD students are most fascinated by and interested to integrate?

        1. Brian Kane

          in general i like to keep them focused on the fashion accessory and emotional aspects of design. what makes people think “i want that”? why do people feel they need things like smartphones? in my opinion it’s a fashion statement. also what makes something fun? what types of activities/games/play can people do with multiple devices? what happens when the object is disposable or free? privacy (or the lack of it) and digital loneliness are big issues, also, how do people actually use things? here’s a page of links that we use in class to overview current design and tech trends:

      2. ShanaC

        Hey Biran, welcome.How do you figure out what people want?

        1. Brian Kane

          hi shana, thanks. this is a great discussion. on an action level, i like to watch what people do, and help them do it. on an emotional level, we try to understand what the feeling is that people are trying to get or project, and provide that. these devices people use are just cultural signifiers, jewelry, adornment – so you need to study the culture and the signals they symbolize.

  33. hypermark

    My thesis is that when Apple comes out with iWatch that it will be like the Steve Jobs comment on styluses and smartphones. If they’re actually talking about the watch on iWatch, they blew it.

  34. John Revay

    Re: Fred’s comment about not wearing watches – me too – all I have is a wedding band.I think a possible game changer might be Form Factor – I have seen some mock-ups of possible wrist bands from Apple – they look more like one of the wrist Bands kids/people wear for causes.

  35. Conrad Ross Schulman is pretty cool for the female population! reminds me of the blackberry notifications..

    1. ShanaC

      they could make less feminine looking versions…

      1. Conrad Ross Schulman

        how about a ‘design your own ringly’ promo? or a ringly box where each month you receive different style of rings?

  36. Salt Shaker

    People wear watches as much (if not more) for style/design than functionality. It’s a fashion statement. Smart watches likely will be no different.This is a pure image play–likely catering primarily to Gen Y (and early adopters).A conversation piece, as much as a time piece.

  37. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I’m not bullish on wearables, either, which is probably why it’s going to be the way of the future.

  38. Emil Sotirov

    What’s more natural than earrings for the audio functions (just a thought).

  39. LE

    I think people in the tech industry and business are haunted by the ghosts of past opportunities missed and outliers that succeeded that everyone missed including themselves. [1]”โ€œI think there is a world market for maybe five computers.โ€Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943″Henry Ford II: “”Mini-cars mean mini-profits.””Fred Smith’s Fedex concept getting a bad grade in business school.Or things like Howard Schultz and Starbucks who would think you could get so much for a cup of coffee?All that stuff about Xerox and the Gui. And so on.Of course logically there are reasons for all of the above (and the others) in that “when the facts change I change my opinion”.Right now the facts don’t support smart watches as being a market. Doesn’t mean they won’t be if the facts or something changes. But you make business decisions based on what you see in gut and information at a particular point in time. Otherwise you are simply gambling.[1] Same thing that causes people to jump into the stock market when it’s “so high” thinking it will for sure “go even higher” and they don’t want to “miss out” and be the fool.

  40. Dave

    I tend to think you’ll see a fragmented market with an array of different devices serving different people. But I tend to think you’ll continue to see specialization in wearables rather than any sort of broad adoption.The smartwatch in particular seems silly to me. I wear a watch about half the time. When I do it is a GPS/heartrate monitor watch for running/workout which I then wear to work. Arguably it is smart or at least smart for a purpose. Or sometimes a dressy, nice watch which I wear less and less over time.The GPS watch screen is as big as it can get and still fit under a shirt sleeve and the screen can barely have three items on it–pace, HRM and time. It is more waterproof and durable than my phone which is why I rely on it and my iPod for running. I just can’t see a use case where I’d use a smart watch for other purposes but not pull my phone out of my pocket. The watch screen is too small relative to the phone.

  41. matthughes

    A smart watch with fully-functioning fitness apps like Nike +, RunKeeper or Strava will be money.That’s easily the most meaningful reason to use a smart watch in my view.

  42. Carl Rahn Griffith

    We are soon going to be little more than RFID-cadavers.

    1. JimHirshfield

      Dead right

  43. Pete Griffiths

    Got the LG android google watch. Will report back ๐Ÿ™‚

  44. pointsnfigures

    Fun to watch it evolve; but I don’t think there is a huge use case for the watch either. The Internet of Things can get overblown. I think if there is a clear use case, and disruption or value that is built in it’s cool. But some of it, like a watch is just a cool gadget.More likely sensors on things that are a pain to measure. For example, why do we have to take a sample and send it to a centralized lab all the time? Why couldn’t a farmer take a milk sample in the dairy and have a sensor that deciphers information and sends it to an online data base, that has an algorithm automatically checking if it’s okay? That’s not impossible. The USDA and FDA might not like it but we could do that today.

  45. ShanaC

    I can’t see this working easily. What you wear is basically a way of identifying yourself.As soon as someone adds data tracking in, you get into a sticky mess.

  46. george

    Actually, the phone works just fine for me as well but then again, I haven’t had the opportunity to test very many wearables, exception fuel band. Nonetheless, I do believe that smart-watch innovation is well beyond the tech/geek thesis and I do expect there will be new curriculum and values to learn caused by the regeneration of data through these new wearable device/app interactions.We’re truly living through an amazing era in tech, accelerated rate of change is occurring – strategies, goals and opportunities are all shifting, as new ways of data collection emerge and develop, hence the necklace!

  47. Frank W. Miller

    Not wearing a watch has always been my little rebellion against the man…

  48. Donna Brewington White

    Lately I have been reconsidering getting a watch. Sometimes I just want to glance at the time without pulling out my phone or getting distracted by one of the numerous notifications. But a smart watch would defeat part of that purpose.I think of friends who visited tribal Africa and were struck by the comment of a native that they were slaves to the little god on their wrists. And those weren’t even smart watches.

  49. Imran Ghory

    That New York Magazine piece is pretty poor. Where they say “Fewer than half of the respondents to a recent Accenture survey said they would consider buying a smartwatch” you could equally say “46% of respondents said they were somewhat or very interested in buying a smartwatch” (that’s the actual data from the survey) and argue the exact opposite conclusion with the same data.It feels like they decided what article they were going to write before they even looked at the data they quoted.

  50. pointsnfigures

    apologize if this comment has been made-just went to dinner with my wife and we talked about about a lot innovative stuff-like we always do. But, isn’t a smart watch like Google Wallet? Is this a hammer in search of a nail? I don’t see it solving problems-I can pull out my phone and answer it. (or conversely, now I don’t need a phone)Wearable tech that solves real problems…really cool. This has always felt like a gadget to me that will wind up in garage sales.

  51. BearTek Gloves

    watches, glasses, necklaces… what about a real useful wearable tech product in BearTek Gloves that takes a necessary piece of apparel people have to wear and makes it loads more functional.

  52. JimHirshfield

    “…the bass…” You sure that’s the headset and not your well-used ears?

  53. fredwilson

    Yeah, we need more bass!!!

  54. JimHirshfield

    Wearable subwoofer. It’s an iteration on the whoopee cushion. Makes you twerk uncontrollably, but fills out the bottom end nicely (of the audio spectrum!!) cc @ccrystle:disqus

  55. SubstrateUndertow

    Do you have any objective data to bass that on ?

  56. Carl Rahn Griffith

    I can recommend Roni Size. At volume setting 11 ๐Ÿ™‚

  57. ShanaC

    how about a trout instead ๐Ÿ™‚

  58. pointsnfigures

    wireless, on the back of your neck to vibrate your brain when you haven’t had enough coffee

  59. JimHirshfield

    Bass through electromagnetic induction. Tumor inducing too. Oh well.