The Trolls of Market Research
Gartner is in the business of selling reports. Nobody buys a report that says a market will fail - Gartner reports are bought, in volume, by desperate directors and senior managers trying to sell a dodgy marketing plan to skeptical management. For that reason it's said that Gartner never met a market it didn't like.
They are the trolls of market research.
One in "hearables", earpieces with added functionality, such as Google's Pixel Buds that perform language translation,
That might well make the turnaround, but I don't see it's implementation smooth enough any time soon
And the darn things will no doubt need a constant connection to servers possibly halfway across the continent or more and the usual Schrödingers question over when and how long the mics are on and how much is being beamed back and recorded.
I wouldn't embark on any expeditions to remote tribes while relying on it neither - be a real tight spot if the signal was no longer there while the 'over friendly' natives were setting up a big pot on a firepit.
Even if the ear bud does work, they've still asked you for dinner. The last thing you'd hear is your smart watch congratulating you on losing weight.
This got me thinking though, is cannibalism a valid diet choice on wearables and what are the healthy substitutes for that diet? Just because YOU might not of been born a cannibal, doesn't mean those that are had a choice.
The 2018 Ig Nobel Prize Winner
NUTRITION PRIZE [ZIMBABWE, TANZANIA, UK] — James Cole, for calculating that the caloric intake from a human-cannibalism diet is significantly lower than the caloric intake from most other traditional meat diets.
REFERENCE: "Assessing the Calorific Significance of Episodes of Human Cannibalism in the Paleolithic," James Cole, Scientific Reports, vol. 7, no. 44707, April 7, 2017.
"sensors in their high-end footwear ranges that measure wearers' activity and performance"
WHY? I can understand professional athletes having a use for that but for normal people what is the point?
I really wanted to find a use for this year's crop of new smart watches but couldn't find a useful feature among them. Heart rate, number of steps walked, wave your arm like a mad man to pay for things, etc... its all nonsense I do not need and would not use.
"I really wanted to find a use"
Three things I would use are phonecall/message status, a big navigation pointer while walking strange streets and voice-activated dictation while driving (as the thing is already in the right place. No talking back to me, mind you!).
An external interface for clip-on medical sensors might come in handy later, if I ever get diabetic or something.
I've had a Pebble for several years now, and honestly, the most useful thing is having it vibrate when I get a text or call. If my phone is on silent, or I'm in a noisy environment I might not notice it, but it's hard to miss your wrist buzzing.
All the fitness bollocks can do one though as far as I'm concerned.
Smart watches can be pretty useful actually
I've had the Samsung Smartwatches for several generations & just got the latest 46mm Galaxy Watch.
I use it every day and find it pretty helpful.
NOT having to pull out my phone to check things. Basically it lets me glance and ignore which makes me more productive.
I can see with a quick twist of my wrist if the message, chat, e-mail or phone call is something I need to take or just ignore to later on.
Also seeing and dismissing alarms and job reminders.
It's also a lot more socially polite than pulling out your phone to check when you are involved in some social interaction situation.
In addition to the usual suspects such as:
Looking at the date / time
Steps taken (my doctor wants this information)
Heart rate (trainer at the gym likes to see this to find out how much more punishment they can give me).
Making quick voice note recordings of reminders on the go.
Re: Smart watches can be pretty useful actually
Indeed, with the demise of Pebble I paid £37 for an Amazfit Bip from AliExpress. It is like an improved Pebble, or where they might have got to if they survived. The phone put away and a quick glance to see whether the silent incoming needs more communication or not is the function that I find really useful.
And is exactly what clockwork wrist wearables were for in the early 20th C. The regression to having to pull something from a pocket, open it and put it away again is the way of morons.
Not the point
Not interested in the Gartner debate. Unfortunately, the wearables area is still in its infancy which means that the real market boundaries are not well defined (is it an item of jewllery/fashion or is it a business enabler? And of course, with major players unrecognized, no standards exist for the organisation, storage or transmission.
That is all very well, but please don't ignore the bio wristband from Canadian outfit Nymi. As well as access control, they are majoring in persistent authentication, ideal for mature IoT applications (no conflict of interest/association).
While there is some obvious utility in some of the devices, particularly related to health this always comes with potentially huge downside risks if the very personal data collected is not looked after properly and American class actions get going. It also looks like that to grow prices and margins will have to shrink. A lot.
I love my Pebble
I love my old Pebble, but I don't like the smart watches from Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, etc. at all. From a hobbyist point of view, I've been interested in playing around with smart clothing -- but honestly, I can't think of a use case for it that appeals to me. I'm sure that's just a lack of imagination on my part.
Oh come on, stop it.
Whatever Gartner are paying you to run their stories you should shun the income and drop the crap they are peddling.
Your readers rightly disregard Gartner stories as crap.
If you continue to take the money knowing you are peddling bullshit you are no better than the scumbag advertising model.
Please do better El Reg, and start by never reporting any Gartner stories.
Gartner tells paying customers what they want to hear shock
And yes, my employer pays them to tell me that everyone in my industry is doing the same as us and buying the same software and nothing is going to change, unless it suddenly does and the whole sector gets removed from the Gartner site.
I second the comments earlier about the Galaxy Watch, having recently picked up the smaller 42mm one. Crucially it has more than enough battery life to get through a day with the display 'always on'. A watch you can't see the time on without making wild wrist gestures or stabbing at it with a finger isn't particularly useful when you're carrying stuff in both hands like shopping bags etc. However a permanently illuminated watch face is extremely handy (esp at this time of the year). Although not a fitness freak I appreciate the step counter, it reminds me to exercise a reasonable amount every day, and I like that you can read texts without reaching for your phone, though replying is somewhat awkward unless one of the pre-canned replies will suffice. And it's rather too easy to send something prematurely, which could lead to embarrassment.Otherwise I like the 'trusted device' phone unlock so that if my phone is near the watch it's automatically left unlocked. Of course, the day I get mugged for my watch and my phone I will live to regret that!.
I do feel that the watch side of the wearables market is growing finally though. Where I purchased mine (Argos - they're throwing in the very nice dual Samsung wireless fast charger for free as an Xmas deal), the guy who served me said he was thinking of getting one for Xmas, and my interest, in turn, was sparked by getting my partner a Fitbit and seeing how she engaged with the distance and step count tracking, which she really appreciated, as she's watching the calories. So I think there is growth through the networking effect especially with people becoming increasingly health conscious.