The idea of wearables is great, but the reality is somewhat different. If you’re not already interested in becoming healthy and more active, do you really care about how many steps or miles you’ve taken today?
According to a U.S survey of 3,400 consumers, 85% aren’t ‘in the market for a fitness band’, as reported by Fortune.
And then there is Google Glass. Today the BBC led the news that the current version of Glass will be ditched for the time being, along with the Explorer programme for software developers.
All of that comes after famous VC Fred Wilson predicted for 2015:
Another market where the reality will not live up to the hype is wearables. The Apple Watch will not be the homerun product that iPod, iPhone, and iPad have been. Not everyone will want to wear a computer on their wrist. Eventually, this market will be realized as the personal mesh/personal cloud, but the focus on wearables will be a bit of a headfake and take up a lot of time, energy, and money in 2015 with not a lot of results.
The problem isn’t that the technology is still fairly early. Or the fact it makes you potentially look like a wally and can get you attacked, or at least banned from some pubs and cafes.
The problem is the need.
Most of the use cases for wearables are currently niche areas, which can be fulfilled at a lower cost by mobile phones or a pencil and paper.
And taking a photo, or accessing an augmented reality application (Assuming there’s one that provides enough use to be worthwhile) is also socially acceptable on your phone. Who looks twice at someone with their face glued to their phone?
If you’re an athlete, or have a medical condition, then wearables make sense. In some cases, they could be a lifesaver. But for the rest of us, it’s still easier to just walk for 15 minutes, and cut down on cakes rather than spend £100 on a device to tell us.