Do Wearables Matter? Part 2.

As the first Apple Watches begin to sell at the stores in the coming weeks, I thought I would do a brief follow up on a piece I wrote a while back, when I purchased my first smart watch, the Asus Zen Watch, an attractive, more fashionable smartwatch running Android Wear. I know some of the more diehard Apple fans are going to say that the Apple Watch is SUPERIOR to anything running on Android Wear. Sure, there are many differences between the two platforms, but there are far more commonalities. It’s these common traits that consumers are most likely to judge the entire experience and overall product on. Common features such as battery life, integration with your current Apple or Android apps, overall ease of use, and so on.

Although Apple did not release a game-changing product in the category, it has already sold more than all the Android Wear smart watches combined, and they accomplished that in record time. Apple has released a beautifully crafted watch that appeals to a much broader audience than your typical technology geek or early adopter. In particular, they have managed to appeal to more women and a fashion-minded crowd overall.

Both Android and Apple will improve their platforms over time, and eventually, they will also find that killer app and new technology that changes the category all together. In the mean time, I’ve listed a few insights I have gained as an early adopter and daily wearer of a smart watch.

Over the last 6-months the one thing that I have come to depend on using my watch, and this may be all the reason you need, is it’s convenient and timely notifications system. One quick glance at my watch and I know if I just received an important email, a casual text from a friend or a reminder that I have a meeting in 15 minutes. Frankly, I have come to rely on these notification. On days when I don’t have my watch on, I find that pulling my phone from my pocket every time it vibrates is quite inconvenient and cumbersome at times. Quite often it’s a personal notification that I could easily look at and respond to later. When I have my smart watch on, however random the notifications, are hardly noticeable and much less disrupting throughout my day. Once you are used to wearing a smart watch, even something as simple as getting the time, can be awkward using your phone. Some side benefits of receiving and responding to notifications through my smart watch, is that I feel less much less likely to drop my phone, as I have drastically reduced the need to constantly pull my phone from my pocket. This also has a positive effect on my phone’s battery life. I no longer need to turn my phone on 400 times a day.

The more I use my smart watch, the more convenient I find it to be. This first crop of smart watches are not technically mind-blowing, and honestly they just seem to lack that killer app or feature that makes everyone want to buy one. As the category matures we will see more and more of our interactions transferring from our smartphones to our smartwatches and/or other wearable form factors.

Here’s my top list of the benefits I have found most valuable about wearing a smart watch.

  • Notification, Notifications and Notifications!
  • Convenience of not having to pull my phone out for every single notification — far less drops and extends my phone’s battery life because I am not constantly turning it on
  • It’s very quick and easy to respond to a notification — a quick glance, a quick swipe and you’re done
  • I can use my (Google Now, Siri) to quickly get information sent to my watch — like weather, traffic conditions, my agenda or also do a quick search on google
  • It extends phone app controls to my wrist — like controls for music and video
  • I don’t have to unlock my phone while I wear my watch — (trusted device via Bluetooth)
  • It puts fitness sensors right on my wrist all day. (the Zen Watch is not very fitness focussed, just basic stuff)
  • Bonus Benefit — I can tell time the old fashion way!

I hope this gives you a little insight, especially if you are still deciding if you want to purchase a smart watch.

What do you find most valuable about wearables today? I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.

Also, I would greatly appreciated if you could click on the recommend button just below this line.