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We Don’t Need Smartwatches Anyway, Right? By @ABridgwater | @ThingsExpo #IoT

There’s a huge push within technology spheres right now to give us the users new things

We Don't Need Smartwatches & Virtual Assistants Anyway, Right?

There's a huge push within technology spheres right now to give us the users new things, obviously. So without making this commentary too personal, allow me to make a point.

A colleague from the technology industry who shall remain nameless (hello Tom!) sent me a late night email asking if he should be concerned about not really wanting a smartwatch or getting caught up on the hype.

He asked, "What killer app would I use on a smartwatch if I had one?"

I thought about it and replied, well e-mailed basically. But as we know, a user has to keep a smartphone in their pocket to use a smartwatch, so that's maybe not that smart after all isn't it?

A user has to keep a smartphone in their pocket to use a smartwatch, so that's maybe not that smart after all isn't it?

Thinking about this question some more, I added to my reply and stated the following:

"Well let's see now, I get time, stopwatch, temperature, barometer, sunset and tides from my Casio Pathfinder, plus it's solar so I don't have to plug it in like a smartwatch. Then when I want my steps and heart rate I just look at what my Fitbit is telling me. So I guess maybe I don't want a smartwatch after all. At least not right now anyway."

The question and the point we are trying to uncover here is - is a certain amount of so-called ‘device and service innovation' happening just for the sake of it? Is the industry simply just trying to find the next Twitter?

The answer if mostly yes, of course it is. Look at the amount of projects that Google launches and then subsequently mothballs or kills. We have to keep trying to break the mold without actually knowing what shape the new object is that we are trying to build anyway.

Does the same apply to Cortana and Siri and the new breed of voice-driven virtual assistants?

Who needs personal digital assistants?
As Frost & Sullivan's Sheridan Nye stated this week, "Beyond the gadget-freaks and early adopters in enterprise, the mass consumer market is yet to be convinced by virtual assistants."

"Microsoft, Apple and others need to persuade the ordinary consumer that a vocal electronic companion can add value to their day - which might not be complex enough to warrant a dedicated assistant. They also need to head off privacy concerns about yet another application that is designed to collate information 24/7. The trade-off between time-saving convenience and creepy intrusion needs to be handled very carefully," she writes.

Again, this is an emerging technology that none of us are quite sure about yet.

... and onward to hardware
Yes so clearly this post is sponsored by HP Enterprise Services and I know that this division of the company is now separate from HP Inc -- with the latter being focused on making PCs and printers.

But HP devices are relevant to this story, the race to work out just how we want to use tablets continues apace. Microsoft has its Surface and HP is building machines with ‘revolve' around screens and the new ‘Spectre 360' which simply flips right round.

Again, we still don't know quite how we want to use this technology yet, so the best thing we can do is to keep diverging form factors and applications until we get to a place where everybody is as happy as they were with, let's say, the plain old wristwatch.

We won't fight innovation, but we may not accept it all. The story continues...

This post is sponsored by The Business Value Exchange and HP Enterprise Services

More Stories By Adrian Bridgwater

Adrian Bridgwater is a freelance journalist and corporate content creation specialist focusing on cross platform software application development as well as all related aspects software engineering, project management and technology as a whole.

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