Still waiting for Apple
I'm not really that impressed with any of the smartwatches we've seen so far, including those that run Android Wear. They just don't have any functionality that really impresses me.
I'm a big believer that a superlative fitness-oriented device could be a huge seller, however, so I'm curious to see what both Apple and Microsoft have in store. If the Apple rumors are even half true, the iWatch will be pitched as a breakthrough for this sort of device-- not just a step-counter or pulse rate monitor, but a real step toward the "quantifiable self." Microsoft, meanwhile, seems to be working in a similar vein. Amusingly, Apple's watch is rumored to have 10 sensors, whereas Microsoft's is supposed to have one more-- I can already see the marketing one-upsmanship that might be in store this fall. But if either company gives people an accurate snapshot of their day-to-day health as well as actionable ways to use that information, they'll sell more units than all the smartwatch-makers so far combined. At some point, the ability to capture health data will help people to live longer lives. We haven't seen a consumer product yet that really fits that—but with more and better sensors going into devices, someone is going to crack it eventually. Whether that's Apple or Microsoft remains to be seen; fitness devices could just as easily convince people that small aberrations are life-threatening problems, just like webMD convinces people that their sinus infections are actually the bubonic plague. But if the data's accurate, personalized and actionable—that's a different story. And that's just talking about fitness as a standalone function, without considering integration with other devices, which is an interesting conversation as well. Microsoft's watch is rumored to be cross-platform, and even if Apple makes the iWatch an iOS-exclusive device, the iPhone and iPad user base is already huge enough to support the tactic.