Saturday, March 29, 2014

Smart-Watches - The Do's and Don'ts of Product Design

I like being an early adopter, if for no other reason than to have new things to add to my junk drawer.  We all have a junk drawer, it's where bad technology goes to rot along with nail clippers, old keys and USB sticks.  So obviously, my appetite is wet for this next generation of devices - Wearables.

If you don't want your product to end up in my junk drawer, here are three things you need to know;

1) If you are making a Smart-Watch, DO KNOW that a Smart-Watch is a Watch first and foremost.  People treat watches as jewelry, and as such I do not want my Smart-Watch looking like a cell phone that has been strapped to my wrist (I'm looking at you Neptune Pine). I do however want a Smart-Watch that at first glance, appears to be a watch (I'm looking at you Moto 360 -Well done).

2) I do not want a Smart-Watch that is a brick, unless I buy your other products.  Samsung tried to do just this with it's Samsung Galaxy Gear watch.

3) Stop trying to replace my Smart-phone.  You can make the greatest Smart-Watch in the world, and 99% of the population will still keep a phone in their pocket.  I do not need a Smart-Watch to do everything my Smart-phone does. Specifically, I do not need 3G or 4G connectivity.  Just allow me to communicate with my Smart-phone via Bluetooth, and Wifi, and we're done.  Other than that, pack in as many sensors as you like.  A good camera would be nice as well.

I personally can't wait for 2015.  Even though all the big players will be releasing Smart-Phones in 2014, I can't help but think good ones won't arrive until generation two...2015.

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