According to a new Whitepaper from Juniper Research, with the launch of the Apple Watch in 2014, Smartwatches have become far more prominent. The trend can be said to have begun with Sony’s Smartwatch in 2012, which had its ancestry in devices like Microsoft’s Smart Personal Objects Technology in 2003. But, no mass consumer adoption of the devices is having an impact on that ecosystem and its future development.
Juniper defines a ‘smart wearable device’ as an app-enabled computing device, which accepts input and processes that input, and is worn on, or is otherwise attached to, the body while being used. This definition includes devices that are both multifunctional and display-only, or dashboard, watches. Multifunctional watches have an on-device OS, while dashboard watches do not.
In the absence of many other uses, many Smartwatch vendors are now shifting their devices toward fitness tracking, says the report. This continues the convergence between Smartwatches and fitness wearables which Juniper observed in its last Smartwatches research.
The price of Smartwatches, typically above $200, is generally not a concern for luxury watchmakers, who have historically always worked in a low-volume, high-margin market with relatively conventional functionality. As a result, there has been far more Smartwatch activity from watchmakers in 2016 than for most CE vendors, says the report.
These vendors have typically applied minimal smarts to the watch itself, while maintaining traditional watch functionalities, allowing the devices to provide much better battery life than most Smartwatches. Fossil’s collection of hybrid Smartwatches claims a 6 month battery life from a traditional watch battery.
This strategy that Smartwatches will be functional as luxury watches, regardless of their smart capabilities, is a way around the lack of clear use cases for Smartwatches.
Concluding, the WhitePaper summarizes these forecasts:
For additional information from Juniper Research, please visit here.