Do you agree?
Question: Why do you wear a wrist watch, if you do?
Answer: Fashion. Admit it. You haven’t needed to strap a watch on your wrist for years, but you still do even though time is told everywhere else. Well, the day is coming soon where you will feel you HAVE to have much more than a clock on your wrist.
The traditional time pieces have been making a comeback for years, record profits have been in the books quarter over quarter – because fashion is very important to people. However…… I am convinced as before that the human wrist is the next San Diego shoreline in terms of market value. More miniaturization will finally make it feasible to eliminate carrying the bulky smartphone combo such as the iPhone in your hand. Once true comparable functionality exists in a smart “watch” then the value of having that on your wrist will surpass the allure of the watch as a fashion accessory. Maybe not to all, but to enough that unless Fashion watchmakers are playing in the game they are going to see major erosion. I think we are two years or more away from that – but they need to get on this, yesterday.
It’s difficult for a lot of folks to visualize that kind of functionality built into a “watch”. But, clear ways to do it exist today. For one, instead of building the iPhone in a watch, it makes more sense just to carry the radio or cell phone and computer part of it in your pocket. Basically the watch would be a controller of sorts, commanding the mother ship in your pocket to route information to different places. Example – push a button on your watch that allows the phone in your pocket to answer the phone call and route the mouth and earpiece to the Bluetooth headset. Or, the wrist watch commanding the mother ship to accept keyboard input from any Bluetooth keyboard, or possibly even paint a laser keyboard. The watch can also be a remote display, from things going on in the mother ship. But, it’s not necessarily showing everything the mother ship can display – there will have to be “watch display” enabled apps that work on the mother ship. Or conversely the watch will command the display to hook into a full sized, Bluetooth enabled monitor.
Is all of this brand new news? Nope, Samsung started developing this concept a few years ago, and even in 2010 started talking about it: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/04/is-this-the-return-of-the-wristwatch/?_r=0 . I also see a “mate” for the smaller brick in your pocket that is permanently installed in every car on the planet. The mate in the car won’t be visible, yet it will communicate with the watch and/or the brick in your pocket. It may take awhile, but seamless coupling should take place immediately when in range of a normal “mate”. Music is available, streaming from your pocket brick over the Bluetooth. The directions you’re getting won’t stop when the car stops because your watch will take over when you’re on foot. I can see this so plainly. To me it’s not if, but when. It can happen in other ways but what I’m saying is that the human wrist is extremely valuable market share that will give way to functionality over fashion if the allure is too great….
By the way, I don’t see the computer and radio in your pocket for long. Eventually the smartphone will disappear and the computer part of it will be a virtual profile on a cloud or SaaS computer somewhere. Meaning, your apps will run in the cloud and the cloud will send all the audio and video to your small radio, either in your pocket or perhaps at that point in your watch.
Oh, and yes, a Fashion watchmaker CAN still build fashion into the smart watch controller (SWC), just not the other way around. It’s a culture thing you know. Your company has to have fashion people making and creating the fashion eye candy. Major traditional tick tock watchmakers should be making serious partner agreements with the smart phone makers and working up important advances. THEY should drive this market because they currently own the real estate (for now). My hope is that these traditional companies act soon or perhaps in the future you might find them for sale only next to film cameras. Do you agree? Do you have other visions? I’m anxious to hear! – Patrick Bouldin – http://www.RunThisProject.com