Star Tribune: What would it take for you to buy a smartwatch?
Local tech enthusiasts discussed that at a Mobile Twin Cities group gathering the evening before Apple’s big announcement. In a room with 20 tech savvy people, only a couple had purchased one of the existing smartwatches on the market. (Here’s a nice side-by-side comparison of Apple Watch and some of its competitors.)
What made them hesitate? Price. Concerns about battery life and the hassle of charging. Durability. Doubts that a smartwatch can do that much more than a smartphone already does.
Nevermind that a large chunk of the population ditched their watches in favor of using smartphones to keep track of time. There’s this idea (in the tech community, anyway) that the watch is where it’s at.
Greg Swan, senior vice president for digital strategy at Weber Shandwick, pointed out that the smartwatch has been a cultural touchstone for decades. Dick Tracy, James Bond, the Jetsons, Penny from the Inspector Gadget cartoons. They all had smartwatches.
“We have this amazing dream and this cultural vision of what we expect watches to do,” said Swan, who started the discussion with a presentation, “Smartwatches: Past, Present and Future.”
After watching the Apple announcement, Swan put it this way: “The ability for consumers to pay for goods and services via phone or watch isn’t new, but with today’s Apple Pay announcement, it’s no longer niche.