Wearable devices represent a major opportunity for the technology industry, but the makers of these devices still have some work to do in the preset.

Thomas Claburn, Editor at Large, Enterprise Mobility

November 19, 2013

2 Min Read
<b>Google Glass. (Source: Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/69730904@N03/8813584506//">Giuseppe Costantino</a>.)</b>

Myth No. 6: First to market with a wearable product is a can't-miss winning formula
Getting to market first matters a lot among web companies but is less of an issue for wearable devices. Early entries into the market have been bulky, underwhelming in terms of functions, and impractical. When asked whether he was referring specifically to Google Glass, Stuermer insisted he's not speaking about any product in particular. He argued that manufacturers need to consult with fashion and design houses to ensure that their forays into the market don't stumble.

Myth No. 7: Power consumption and batteries will not be big issues with wearable devices
Perhaps a decade ago, chipmakers began to worry more about performance per watt than operations per second. Power efficiency became more important than raw horsepower. The mobile revolution only reinforced that approach, and it's an ongoing challenge. We're asking more of our mobile devices in terms of running sensors and background applications. All that requires power. And battery chemistry has not improved at the same rate as semiconductor density, so the problem keeps getting worse. Having to remove a smartwatch and charge it daily will be a significant deterrent to adoption. "Battery size and miniaturization is still a bit of an obstacle," as well as an opportunity for chipmakers.

Myth No. 8: Wearable devices are secure
People wrongly assume that, because wearable devices are on their person, the devices are secure. Security will be a huge issue for wearable devices. There will be new laws to deal with surveillance, location tracking, advertising, security, and privacy. Device makers need to lay the groundwork for a robust security framework in advance.

To Accenture's list, it's worth adding one more.

Myth No. 9: Alternate interfaces will be easy
Google and Apple have made convincing cases for a future where we command computers with our voices. The model often invoked is Star Trek, in which characters addressed the ship's computer by voice and were immediately understood. If only it were that easy. Apple Siri and Google Voice Search try to help their users by suggesting spoken queries, because people don't know what to ask or how to phrase their queries to ensure they'll be understood. At some point, humans and computers will be able to communicate naturally and reliably, but it will take time before we're comfortable chatting with machines.

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About the Author(s)

Thomas Claburn

Editor at Large, Enterprise Mobility

Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful master's degree in film production. He wrote the original treatment for 3DO's Killing Time, a short story that appeared in On Spec, and the screenplay for an independent film called The Hanged Man, which he would later direct. He's the author of a science fiction novel, Reflecting Fires, and a sadly neglected blog, Lot 49. His iPhone game, Blocfall, is available through the iTunes App Store. His wife is a talented jazz singer; he does not sing, which is for the best.

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