I think that smartwatches will have to be reimagined in some way so that people actually use them.
As touchscreen devices, smartwatches appear to have been made in the hopes of replicating the success of smartphones, albeit, of course, using a smaller screen. However, therein seems to lie the problem with them.
A key innovation that popularized smartphones was the introduction of the touchscreen as a user interface. It made interacting with small devices a joy compared to the keyboard/scrollwheel combo of feature phones that came before. The touchscreen was a large part of what allowed phones to become the multi-purpose devices they are now. The choice of interface perfectly suited the device.
And, despite the fact that most people like to use bigger and bigger screens on their phones, we’re told that the smaller screen of the smartwatch is equally ideal for working with apps that are identical to those found on our smartphones. As a result, there’s nothing that really draws us to the smartwatch. If we already have a smartphone on hand, the situations where one would use a smartwatch are few.
Furthermore, they seem to have been created and marketed to us without questioning first if a touchscreen is the ideal method of input for a smartwatch or for managing the problems it currently solves or will solve.
So that’s all to say that the user interface of the smartwatch should be more tailored to the type of problems it solves. It should be able to interact with us in a way that a smartphone can’t. Perhaps then will the device become more useful and/or interesting to use.