Tag Archives: galaxy

2014: What to watch – the wearable era.

25 Mar

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2014 is set to be a big year in the technology industry. Since the beginning of the tablet era in 2010 we haven’t had a revolutionary new product category that has really hit it off. 4 years later, we are getting a glimpse of how technology will continue to integrate into our lives.

Smart watches are by no means a new category, they’ve been around for some years now in the form of the Pebble Smart watch or the Galaxy Gear. But neither of these have been big successes, in fact, they’ve been seen as a massive failure. I guess the biggest question is why haven’t they taken off yet, and whats to say that they ever will?

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There are two fundamental issues with the current portfolio of smart watches:

  1. They do not integrate as efficiently as they could do
  2. They really don’t look great

For a Smart Watch to be successful, it firstly has to integrate into our lives without any fuss. We want it to be easy to use and have all the information we need readily available for when we need it. Such as todays meetings, the weather, our contacts and our messages. All in a format that is easily readable on the fly.

Secondly, it needs to look good. But at the same time satisfy a varied number of consumers. Watches, more often than not are fashion accessories (when not being used to tell the time). So if they look bulky, clunky and ugly they aren’t going to sell. But making a generic look that appeals to the mass is a difficult hurdle to overcome. Customisation is key, both physically and digitally.

The Android Wear announcement last week brings a completely new competitor to the table, the first serious player in the smart watch market. The videos shared of the Moto 360 have set a high bar for what could be a game changer for wearables. The previews show a beautiful and elegant interface that shows off everything that a smart watch should be.

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The Moto 360 also demonstrated another important variable for the wearable era: health monitoring. Personally, this will be a massive selling point for me. I currently use the Nike + app on my phone for running and I have always had an interest in getting a Nike Fuelband. With leaked screenshots of Apple’s iOS 8 health book app, it seems that this year’s technology announcements will be very health orientated.

I think that this is a fantastic opportunity for encouraging a healthier lifestyle. Smart phone manufacturers can harness the power of a device that millions of its customers already have, and couple it with a new peripheral that can change the way people live their lives.

The same way the iPhone revolutionised the mobile phone market back in 2007, the Smart Watch era will change the way we access our most important data on the fly, whilst at the same time keeping tabs on our body to improve our fitness without us even realising.

Watch this space.

 

 

That bittersweet fruit

1 May

If you continue reading my blogs, and I continue writing blogs you may start to see a trend. I like Apple products. Before I hear the screams of “Fan Boy”, I would like to clear things up, I try to be level headed about things, Apple are not the only company that make great products.

This year could be an interesting year, as for many years now Apple have dominated the mobile phone and tablet market, and they have also been doing pretty well in computer sales too. But, as the saying goes – all good things must come to an end. Apple are at the top, and as newton famously said whilst sitting under a tree of Apples, what goes up, must come down.

Samsung are hot on Apples tail in terms of mobile phone sales, the Samsung Galaxy S 4 has been a massive phone launch for the company, bigger than any iPhone launch in recent history. The last real redefining iPhone launch has to have been the iPhone 4, nothing much revolutionary since. Apple have become stale, they set their own bar too high and have struggled to match it since, as a result consumers have strived for something new and different, which is where the Samsung Galaxy hops into play.

In one of my earlier blog posts I discussed the evolution of mobile ecosystems, when iOS was first released alongside the original iPhone, it was a revolutionary, simple and beautiful operating system. Now it is boring and repetitive. We have had 6 generations of the same design with a few tweaks along the way. Don’t get me wrong, it does it’s job, it’s what makes an iPhone, an iPhone.

Days after I had posted my blog relating to iOS, reports came in of what could be a major change coming in iOS 7, according to sources, iOS 7 will feature a flat design, Flat design being akin to the type of operating system Windows 7 Phone chose to adopt. I strongly believe this change is imminent, I cannot see Apple sticking with the same iOS again, they need a shake up, something to bring the spark back into the company and make people want to buy their phones again, and I mean, really want to buy them.

Personally, I don’t like the idea of a flat structured operating system, I am not a fan of Windows phone, or of Metro UI. I guarantee, everyone will hate the new design at first, nobody likes change. There will be Apple’s simplicity and beauty built into it, so people will adjust and fall in love over again – at least, that’s what Apple need to ensure happens to get out of this dry spell they are in.

In terms of other products released by the company, expect some new fruit over the next few years. We wont just be getting refreshed lines of existing products. We will be getting new product lines. For Apple to remain at the top for a little while longer these products need to make us ask the question five years from now; “how did I ever live without that?”.

The big question is, do Samsung have what it takes to become as innovative as Apple once were? With their eye-tracking technology in the Galaxy S 4, they are showing that they are ready for the challenge.

 


-DC