With the current public release of Google Glass in USA and news of more wearable technology being leaked, people have been questioning about the decline of mobile devices. Will we see the smartphone being integrated into clothing we wear or will this just be another prediction that will fade into obscurity?
To market its new eyes wear device, Google hired fashion executive Ivy Ross whose previous work at Calvin Klein are very well-known, to be in charged of the device’s marketing strategy. Since Google is one of the few companies in the world who are able to set trends in technology, we can at some level of certainty predict that the company is increasing its commitment to this new niche market of wearable devices.
In another press release, Samsung, now a major smartphone manufacturer, said it had achieved the goal of shipping half a million of its smartwatches in the 1st quarter of 2014. The numbers prove that wearable devices are becoming more popular than ever as consumers embrace new technologies. Not to be left behind, Apple is also rumored to be working on its new iWatch device, that may go on sale before the year ends.
Wearable smart devices opens up exciting features and applications which we have yet to think off, such as giving real time information about a location or off a certain object. Dubai police already has Google Glass application that can recognise and scan the license plate of a vehicle when a police officer looks at it and check the number against police’s database of stolen vehicle. People using Samsung’s smartwatch can make a call, send text messages without touching their phones. Additional features are will become available in the near future as manufacturers release their SDK (Software Development Kit) to developers.
On the other hand, wearable smart devices face a minefield of legal and technological issues and challenges. Google Glass wearers have been subject to concerns of invading another person’s privacy. Some restaurants and bars have already banned Glass from being worn in its premises. Secondly, wearable smart devices rely on a mobile device’s data network when it is out Wi-Fi range which means people with wearable devices still have to carry their mobile phones with them around to provide an Internet connection. Another issue which plagues wearable smart devices is battery longevity and the high cost (Google Glass costs from $USD1,500), which puts it in the high end of consumer electric pricing.
At Texo Design, we have helped many businesses bring their applications from web, from legacy platforms to iOS, Android and Window Phone, or in other words, mobile devices with tremendous success but we don’t have a crystal ball to accurately predict the future of wearable smart devices. However, we can confidently say that until the legal and technological issues are addressed, smartphones will still be the primary device of users and companies should still focus on providing their customers with an immersive mobile experience.