Going by the status quo, its pretty clear that smartwatches are leading the wearables baton. While tech giants, geeks and entrepreneurs are experimenting with smart ‘everything’ – glass, rings, suits and the likes – watches have clearly managed more consumer adoption. With Apple also offering its own Watch, it wouldn’t be long before they are a more common sight. Probably a cause of worry for all the Citizens and Tag Heuers of the World?

Jokes apart, IMHO, watches have found adoption because consumers are quite habitual to them. Like other wearables, the consumers aren’t expected to do anything different with watches like with other wearable devices. Now, why would anyone with a perfectly clear vision wear a nerdy-looking glass? And how easy would it for a myopic person to use these glasses? Moreover, being viewed as an extension of smartphones (I do not conform to this view though!), watches offer a great form factor, not too big to be cumbersome neither too small to offer limited functionality. You earlier had great watches, now you have great smartwatches!

Smartwatches What are the best use cases for smartwatches?

As I said before, I do not think smartwatches are just an add-on to your phone. Is the price tag of Rs 18,000 for a Moto 360 smartwatch justified if I am only going to use it as an add-on to my Nexus 4? Probably not. And that is a fundamental fault with the way some of the tech companies have viewed the smartwatch.

Now think about how we use watches? We just take a glance and voila – we have what we are looking for. Smartwatches will also work only if they are built around this fundamental tenet – delivering snippets of information quickly and intelligently. If I see a message on a watch, then take out the phone to take more action on it, what’s the point really?

So, here are some possible use cases for a smartwatch :-

1. Internet of Things (IoT) – One of the most exciting things in the technology industry, IoT holds a lot of potential to transform our world. Imagine a world where we are surrounded by connected devices and then put the smartwatch in the mix. And suddenly it all fits in neatly. This wearable technology may become the centre-piece of the IoT revolution by becoming the bridge for us to link with the IoT-enabled devices. Imagine if you could alert your office air-conditioner right from your watch before you left home or check the supplies in the fridge on the way back, wouldn’t life be simpler! The phone can do it, but a smartwatch will do it a lot better.

2. Activity Tracking – I used an app called Noom Coach recently to keep a track on all my fitness activities. While it was a superb app, I had one small issue with it. What happens when I don’t carry my phone with me, or when my phone battery dies? I stand to lose out on valuable data. Some apps constantly monitor important health metrics. How would your phone monitor activities while it lays charging on your office desk? Watches are a more personal device and hence more useful in such scenarios.

3. Notifications – Many people I know find it extremely frustrating to manage the amount of notifications coming from their smartphones everyday. Often times, the notifications are emailers and alerts which do not really merit any significant attention. A watch could help you efficiently weed out these alerts so that you use the phone only for more important tasks. Notifications, I feel, are the technology equivalent of checking time. You look at it quickly and the purpose is served!

4. Payments - Mobile payments are still relatively young. I feel watches can be an efficient payment hardware. Instead of taking out your phone in a crowded restaurant, a watch is a much better bet. Just punch in your pin and authenticate payment.

I would just like to add that the fundamental mantra for the watches should be – Track and Deliver. Burdening watches with too many features and more importantly, expecting consumers to make sense of it is simply the wrong approach!

(Photo: Wikimedia)

By |January 21st, 2015|Technology|0 Comments

About the Author:

 What are the best use cases for smartwatches?
Communications professional. Love playing guitar and reading books. Interested in technology and current affairs.

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