How Smartwatches Could Be Made Even Smarter
Long gone are the days when watches were only meant to tell time. Nowadays, your handy smartwatch does almost everything your mobile can do.
Want to play some music? Tell your smartwatch. Forgot to switch off the AC at home? Your watch has your back. Really want to try your hand at online gaming? Open the online casino app on your smartwatch! Yes, some of the casinos have started introducing apps that can even be accessed through smartwatches and not just through mobiles.
All these features and more have taken the smartwatch from being just another luxury accessory to an undeniable necessity for the tech-savvy generation. Now, the question is: how can smartwatches be turned even smarter? Here’s your answer!
The Need for a More Differentiated Market Situation
The companies that manufacture smartwatches can be broadly categorized into three types:
- the smartwatch-only ventures (e.g. Mobvoi)
- the watchmakers (e.g. Fossil)
- the device makers (e.g. Apple, Samsung, and Garmin)
Though Samsung and Mobvoi are credited with having interesting features, none of them are still viable competitors for Apple. On the other hand, Apple products are expensive and need the user to also have an iPhone, which keeps their smartwatches out of reach for many. However, it still does not have enough competition because of issues with Google’s Wear OS.
Common Issues with Google’s Wear OS
For anyone looking for a smartwatch but trying to avoid Apple, Google’s Wear OS is the next best option. But this option is reported to be replete with issues like:
- malfunctioning Google Assistant
- fluctuating Bluetooth connectivity
- lack of updates in core apps
If only the Wear OS has more features and a cheaper price point, it could come at par with Apple. As a result, users will get to choose between smarter and more affordable options.
New Designs Instead of Cookie-Cutter Looks
When the designs of the smartwatches are compared with their features, it almost seems like the look has not really evolved in all these years. Thus, it is of no wonder that there is still a section of the population that would rather go for a classic, traditional-looking watch than its smart variant.
The designs of top watch brands like Timex or Rolex have made them timeless. If only those same aesthetics could be combined with smartwatch features, even the traditional watch wearers could consider smartwatches. As such, it would not be an exaggeration to say that the lack of design variety, along with pricing parity, is holding back the smartwatch sector.
At the end of the day, a smartwatch is also a fashion accessory. Think of the Apple Watch – a wonderful product available in just one style. And that too looks almost like wearing a small iPhone on the wrist!
Also, the size of the screens is an issue in some cases. Certain apps, mainly the iGaming ones, are hard to open and use on smaller screens. Undoubtedly, both the iGaming industry and the smartwatch makers have to take this into consideration.
Making Payments Possible Through Smartwatches
This is a matter that has seen a remarkable improvement in the last three years, though more changes are needed. Now, thanks to smartphones and digital payment apps, carrying cash or even cards are quickly becoming a thing of the past. So, the next frontier in the journey of a smartwatch to become smarter was to allow payments.
Payment apps like Google Pay are already usable on some smartwatches, such as Fossil Gen 6, Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, and Skagen Gen 6. However, this feature is still not as widely available as it’s expected to be. In fact, most smartwatches, especially the entry-level ones, are without such features. Hopefully, this is going to change in the next five years because digital payment options are steadily becoming a necessity for users.
Focussing More on Healthcare Features Than Before
The pandemic has made remote health monitoring highly important. Thus, smartwatch makers have also shifted their focus from making a device that only mirrors the smartphone to something that actually monitors the wearer’s health. Apple and Google both seem to be leaning into the healthcare sector in their own ways, though predictive care is a common ground.
Apple has been carrying out a number of surveys among medical institutions and the general population to assess the potential of their device in predictive medicine, such as forecasting the onset of different diseases like flu, COVID-19, and more. On the other hand, Google – with its Fitbit acquisition – is also trying to notify users about fitness and health.
At present, the purpose of healthcare is driving the differentiation and innovation in the smartwatch industry. It is one of the crucial steps in not just making smartwatches a necessity but also turning them smarter than before.
The Bottom Line
If the initial design, purpose, and features of a smartwatch are considered, there is no denying the device has come a long way. However, it is still an evolving technology that has a lot of changes to embrace and attributes to introduce. All in all, the smartwatch is steadily moving towards becoming smarter.