The basic challenge for wearable devices is to integrate information and communication technology into our daily lives. Following the advent of smart glasses, contact lenses and other gadgets, smart watch creators are now engaged in fierce combat for market share.
Among wearable devices it is now the connected watch that has the wind in its sails. Sony, Pebble, Metawatch, Agent – a number of brands are already fighting for a place in the heart of the consumer. And these ‘watches’ are of course not about telling the time; the connected watch must be able to read your emails, send messages, receive calls and even respond to the sound of your voice… all without leaving your wrist. This is exactly what the Meteor, designed by US company Kreyos, does. This latest newcomer to the market is already proving highly popular, as evidenced by its page on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo. Having originally set out aiming to raise just $100,000 from the crowd, the founders have already seen close to $800,000 pledged through the site.
Kreyos scores highly with the wide range of functionality offered by its device. Connecting up to your smartphone via bluetooth, it can answer calls and messages, send and receive emails, post comments on the social networks, change music tracks on your player, and access apps – appointments diary, games and so on. The Meteor watch is also equipped with voice and gesture control, so you can instruct it directly without having to pull out your smartphone. Avi Greengart, Research Director at competitive intelligence solutions provider Current Analysis, reckons that wearable devices are all about leveraging customer experience. “The smart watch can also record the identity of its owner, his/her physical condition, and can even control the environment – music, video and room temperature, he points out.”
…but not a substitute for the smartphone
Avi Greengart stresses nevertheless that: “These devices are not entirely autonomous. They work as an extension to laptops and smartphones.” In fact the Kreyos creators point out that the Meteor watch does not take a SIM card and needs to work in coordination with your mobile phone. And while, as Jef Holove, the CEO of Basis, a company which makes smart watches, told L’Atelier at the recent MobileBeat conference, “smartphones are now becoming more and more central,” wearable devices have yet to carve out a place for themselves in the mobile ecosystem. Pointing out that smart watches have still not really found an audience apart from the early adopters, Avi Greengart reckons that the challenge for creators is now to break out of this bind and come up with a “gadget for everyone”.