Wearable technology: A novelty that will wear off quickly

Although we are told it will be a game changer, the wearable technology on offer and proposed so far provides nothing revolutionary whatsoever.
Thomas Sanchez, the founder of digital innovation agency Social Driver, demonstrates Google Glass at the National Press Club in Washington. Nicholas Kamm / AFP
Thomas Sanchez, the founder of digital innovation agency Social Driver, demonstrates Google Glass at the National Press Club in Washington. Nicholas Kamm / AFP
The truth is slowly coming out about wearable technology, which we are reliably being told is the next game changer for our increasingly modern world.

Thanks to Copenhagen Airport for letting us know that they have trialled Google Glass giving it the "thumbs up" and that "we can reduce the amount of paper our Duty Managers need to carry to give great customer service. And because the devices are hands-free, our managers are not focusing on a screen and can engage better with our passengers."

If that is any indication of how it will be used then wearable tech will be underwhelming.

Walking around with a tablet can reduce paper and putting the tablet in a bag around your shoulder can also free up your hands. Must you spend thousands on a set of digital spectacles? After the initial novelty has worn off, I suspect most will not.

Google will also demonstrate its smartwatch - part of its Android Wear range - at the upcoming Google I/O conference in San Francisco, promising interchangeable watch bands and faces to meet each individual style. Didn't Swatch do this in the 1980s? The "Pop" Swatch as I recall was an expensive failure. I am not picking on Google here. Apple with its focus on health related wearable tech, Samsung and Motorola with their own smart watches are all over-promising on this segment.

These devices offer no game changing utility whatsoever. They are essentially a repackaging of exisiting technology to create a new market in an ever increasingly competitive industry which the likes of Google, Apple, Samsung and others know will not allow all of them to stay on top or even survive.

malrawi@thenational.ae

Follow us on Twitter @Ind_Insights

Published: June 24, 2014 04:00 AM

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