January 24, 2014

How will wearable devices affect the smartphones future?

Written By Martin Sandhu
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Most wearable devices currently on the market or due for release this year ‘pair’ with a smartphone, rather than being a device in their own right. They’re designed to work along side your phone as a second screen and adding yet more functionality to your mobile device. So how will smartwatches, glasses and other gadgets change how we use our smartphones?

There has been some speculation that wearable tech will replace smartphones, but we don’t see that happening anytime soon. At the moment the attraction of wearable tech is that it does one or two things very well (perhaps with the exception of Google Glass which seemingly does everything!), in order for them to replace smartphones they’d need to be able to do everything a mobile can do now and more, which is always likely to lead to weaknesses.

Screen size is another issue; mobile devices are being used more and more in place of a PC or laptop and if someone emails you a spreadsheet reading it on a smartwatch would be more than difficult – it’s hard enough on a smartphone. The one way this could be fixed is through hologram screens, so when the need for a bigger visual display is needed you can simply push a button for holography…whilst it sounds very space-age it is a real possibility for the future.

Just like the tablet has not fully replaced laptops and PC’s, we don’t see wearable devices replacing smartphones anytime soon. What we are likely to see is increased use in them, (yes, that is possible believe it or not) especially for things like fitness and health. The app market will soon explode with a range of creative new applications aimed at making the most of the technology, which will only encourage more use.

The fact smartphones and smart devices work so well together and multiple wearables can be linked to one phone and used at once is a huge bonus too. Many people are starting to feel frustrated at the lack of integration between their current devices; so easy link-ups will be a key attraction.

There has been a spate of negative press around wearable devices lately, but as a new market this is to be expected and we don’t think it will be enough to dampen the excitement around the devices.