Smartwatches have attracted significant attention in the world of technology over the past few weeks. Recently, Apple announced that they would be releasing their own smartwatch in early 2015, marking their first foray into the smartwatch industry segment. Moreover, the attention that Pebble has accrued through its Kickstarter project certainly demonstrates the public’s interest in the smartwatch market. However, where will this interest take us? Can we expect Smartwatches to become another staple of our technological existence? Perhaps not—well, at least not yet.


For a new technology to firmly establish itself in today’s society, there needs to be a demand, or at least a demand created. No one needs a smartphone in the literal sense, but the smartphone industry has led us, their consumers, to believe that we need smartphones. The products are marketed in such a way that creates a heightened, often exaggerated image of smartphones. Smartphones don’t just make calls—that’s just the beginning. Smartphones call, text, organize, orient, disorient, entertain, distract, focus, and so on. But what can smartwatches bring to the table? Can the industry create and feed a desire or need?


A colleague of mine recently had the opportunity to wear a Pebble Steel smartwatch for a few weeks. He claimed that they “act as a toy more than a tool right now, and just like the tablet, there needs to be more independence from other technology before they can take off”. Indeed, interest in smartwatches appears to stem more from the novelty of the idea of a smartwatch itself, than from any practical functions. The smartwatch means you don’t have to take your phone out of your pocket as much, which may not be enough of a “function” to cultivate consumer interest.


There may be hope, though. A recently released report predicts the explosion of technology like smartwatches. If smartwatches stray from their dependence on the phone and establish their own worth separately, they may stand a chance. Right now, it seems as if the closet semblance of such independence is limited to fitness apps. Yet, as the market expands and competition escalates, who knows what will happen. Perhaps somewhere down the road, smartwatches will become just as commonplace as smartphones.


Can you imagine yourself wearing a smartwatch? Let me know in the comments below or find me on twitter @ryanlawlessness